New England’s Revolution soccer team has launched a feisty new brand campaign that seemingly provokes the local citizenry in Boston to near fisticuffs.
Of course, that was the general intent, and Arnold, the agency behind the effort, recruited the right talent—director Billy Rainey of MTV’s “Punked” fame—to help pull it off.
As part of the so-called “It Started Here” campaign, Rainey directed two “Punked”-type spots, designed to provoke but in a pretty over-the-top way.
The spots feature two somewhat authentic-looking Redcoats—British soldiers from the Revolutionary War era—attempting to enforce upon the local modern-day population draconian new laws from UK. It's as if the Mother Country still ruled the U.S.
In one ad, they proclaim, by order of the King, that all hats not made in Britain shall be confiscated. Needless to say, that doesn’t go over big with the citizens of South Boston, where filming took place. Those asked to surrender their hats tell the Brits in so many words where they can shove their King’s Writ. Some physicality ensures.
Another spot features the two Redcoats in a donut shop trying to extract $40 taxes on coffee “by writ of the king.” Pretty silly stuff, but the locals get outraged.
One incensed and barely censored woman gives the soldiers a Bronx cheer, while proclaiming “go f#$k yourself, how do you like that, ha!” Don’t think that one is going to air on broadcast TV in Boston, where the campaign is focused, but we’ll see. Another tax resister dumps his coffee on one of the Redcoats and offers to do it again.
“New Englanders are the best. They’re a unique, prideful breed. And wickedly territorial. You provoke them, even a little bit, and the gloves come out," stated James Bray, executive creator director, Arnold Worldwide. "We saw it again and again. We’re just thankful we didn’t see blood. Credit to the New England Revolution, though. They didn’t shy away from the kind of authentic behavior that makes Boston the best sports town in America."
OK, if you say so James. New Englanders may be wickedly territorial, but they they’re not stupid. Call me skeptical, but I’m betting the whole thing was staged. But judge for yourself, here.
And then again, Boston fans are a pretty rowdy, passionate bunch. Imagine a game between the Revolution and say, Manchester United, a soccer team with a passionate fan base. Yeah, that one could get a little bloody, both on and off the field.