Arsenal Football Club, founded in 1886, has a long and successful history within the realms of English football. Consequently, their fanbase has stretched from their native Islington across the world. Their latest campaign however, focuses on the local beginnings of the Gunners, the community associated with it and the authentic feelings of those who live and breathe AFC.
Arsenal’s new kit for the 19/20 season was “leaked” onto Adidas’ Youtube account prior to its official release on July 1st and features a host of notable Arsenal players and Alumni. Arsenal legend Ian Wright, who scored 185 goals in 279 starts for the club, begins the advert with the phrase, “listen…you ain’t born a Londoner – you’re made one.” The advert continues, showing a multitude of international Arsenal stars including Mesut Özil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mattéo Guendouzi all enjoying the quintessential staples of North London.
Arsenal’s Kit Release
From barbershops to greasy spoons, the highlights of London have been shown in all their glory, all by international stars with noticeably new North London accents. Hearing Bosnian Sead Kolašinac come out with a typical North London response of “true dat, fam” is certainly one for the locals.
Adidas have shown a truly nuanced understanding of the things that make Arsenal great. Not simply the cheeky chappy accent and the wonders of a London fry up, but the subtlety of Arsenal history. Paying homage to David Rocastle to the overture of “Rocky Rocky Rocky Rocastle,” watching Ian Wright wander past the iconic Highbury stadium, and even the subtle nod to ‘The Invincibles’ era of the 2003/04 season with Wrighty’s comment of “we’ll make you invincible”, the advert shows a holistic appreciation of the colourful history of the club and the depth of the even more dedicated fans.
Brands tapping into locality
The advert focuses on the local nature of the club. This does wonders for not only those who grew up with the Gunners, reminding them of their past victories and where they came from, but newer fans across the globe who now have a chance to become part of the history in their support of the club. Connecting with the local aspect of a fanbase may seem counterintuitive in today’s globalised world, where appealing to the masses is a sure-fire way of pleasing an audience, but here it is authentic, it’s real, and it’s an honest understanding of what makes Arsenal, Arsenal. It gives those across the world a chance to see that wherever you come from, whoever you are, you can be a part of Arsenal, if you give them the chance.
This focus on locality is reminiscent of Nike’s ‘Nothing Beats a Londoner’ advert from early last year.
Nike’s ‘Nothing Beats a Londoner’ Advert
Nike connected directly with their target market by using members of London’s grime scene including Skepta, Giggs and JHus and by addressing notably London problems. This include the lack of dedicated outdoor spaces for sport, and the difficulties faced by those trying to make it in the capital. By localising their campaigns, brands can highlight the issues faced by their customers in ways that they understand. These customers can relate to these adverts because, as Spaniard Héctor Bellerín puts it at the end of Arsenal’s kit release advert, “North London is home”.
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