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It’s a win-win for BBH as agency unveils Premier League campaigns for Barclays and Virgin

So then, the UK Premier League has started and, as ever, it’s a game of two halves.

I spent Sunday at Stamford Bridge watching the triumphant (if, finally, a bit average) return of manager Jose ‘The Special One’ Mourinho, who didn’t seem to do very much although he had a nice new suit. Chelsea beat Hull 2-0 even though they left out some of their best players.

The other half is commercial and one of the beneficiaries of the national obsession is agency BBH which has two new offerings for the return of the beautiful game (or so we’re led to believe it is).

The first was for client Virgin Media which has actually done something for its long-suffering subscribers (like me) by doing a deal with BT to show its new sports channels – at no extra cost! Although how long that lasts we wait to discover.

BT Sports seems to have hit the ground running (as we say in the sport business) with slick presentation and even more pundits than Sky (although they’re not as good). So Virgin agency BBH rustled up a quick ad featuring one-time England striker, the lofty Peter Crouch, and a voiceover from ‘Arry Redknapp.

Very good: Pete’s dad is one-time senior AMV/BBDO creative Bruce Crouch so doubtless he knew what was expected of him.

Rather more ambitious is this BBH effort for unloved UK bank Barclays, sponsor of the Premier League. BBH’s advertising for Barclays has been admirably consistent over the past few years, focussing on products, as the bank has tried to dodge brickbats from all and sundry for being…a bank.

And here the agency slides into John Lewis territory with an emotion-packed tale of the part football plays in people’s lives; majoring on one Billy Ingham who’s been supporting Everton for over 70 years (well they are the best club).

It all gets a bit soupy at the end with big bad Barclays saying a heartfelt thankyou to “all those millions of fans who support the Barclays Premier League.” They don’t of course – they support Chelsea or Everton or whomever.

Still, that’s the Premier League for you. The bloke next door to me told me he paid £1200 for his season ticket (mine was borrowed) and even then he had to rack up loads of ‘loyalty’ points to get on the list. So I guess some thanks are in order.

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barclays bbh Billy Ingham bt sports chelsea everton new tv campaigns Peter Crouch Premier League sky sponsor virgin media

About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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