Last December, I was involved in shooting a marketing campaign for the major Dutch beer brewery Bavaria. The campaign focused on presenting the brand as the beer of choice for true fans of the PSV football club, one of my other clients.
Bavaria is the second largest brewery in the Netherlands and has a rich history that dates all the way back to at least 1680. With an annual production of seven hundred million liters of beer, it’s safe to say this is a major brand.
The specific campaign came together quite rapidly and we were on a tight schedule: the photos we’d be shooting would have to be submitted swiftly. This wasn’t a problem of course, I personally love just going all in for a single assignment and working a couple of long days, instead of working on many small assignments consecutively. It also didn’t hurt that we’d be shooting the photos in the PSV stadium, which is about a one minute walk from my house.
Swift turnaround and thorough preparation
This was to be a long day of shooting, as the campaign consisted of a series of images with icons of PSV. In addition to these stills, a video would be shot in multiple location in the stadium and at the brewery in Lieshout. My major challenge for the day would be to seize my opportunity to shoot stills when the club’s icons weren’t needed for the video production. As these legends were on a tight schedule and it’s best to take up as little of their time as possible, preparation was essential. The day before, I had a friend come over to shoot some tests for prelighting, technically and creatively nailing the shot before any of the actual talent would step in. It was also helpful to be able to send my client these test shots and reassure them what the final assets would turn out like.
Meeting the legends
Meeting these former PSV players was a great experience. Wilfred Bouma (former Aston Villa) actually played for the Dutch national squad when I was growing up. Berry van Aerle may appear slightly low profile, but has probably had the most successful career out of these three former players: he won the European Championship in 1988, playing alongside the likes of Marco van Basten, Ronald Koeman, Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gullit. When working with icons like this, it’s vital not to become too starstruck. Personally, though I respect the accomplishments of these individuals, I’m far more interested in just connecting with them on a human level and working with them to create the best possible result. We didn’t really encounter any issues during this day, as both the client, the talent and the video crew were a breeze to work with.
Finished product and reflection
As I mentioned in the intro, the goal of this campaign was to present the Bavaria brand as the beer of choice for PSV fans. The final images were used for large out of home posters in bus stops in the Eindhoven region. Additionally, some images were used in the social campaign, with the video being promoted on Facebook, and fans were invited to create their own GIF saying cheers.
In retrospect, this was an interesting project to work on, and with these icons of the club being involved, still highly relevant within my focus on sports and active lifestyle. In fact, I feel that campaigns are a direction I would definitely like to expand my work into.