Campaign Review: Ajax Women BeFire

In ancient Greece at a time when civilization was trying to understand the world, Greek philosophers were debating the four elements of nature: earth, water, air, and fire. Fast forward to our times, one club which proudly displays an ancient Greek figure made it clear which element matters the most to them.

Here’s the story of Ajax Women’s campaign, Be Fire.

Fire has the power to go through anything. So how does a women’s football club get this campaign to stand out from the clutter of content? With unique player-generated storytelling.

The campaign

Launched in January 2020 and split into four parts on the Ajax website (so far) whereas on social each featured player had a dedicated post. Each part focuses on a group of squad players sharing their path and struggles along the way to becoming a professional football player.

The campaign was launched with the following hype/promo video. Warning, may cause goosebumps.

The presentation of each player story featured a poster accompanied by a letter style copy (see below). The players addressed their #BeFire moment to people or incidents that shaped their career to date.

In a way, the campaign’s messaging benefits from the Covid19 pandemic. It delivers a message of hope and that with the right attitude we can overcome challenges.

The duration of the campaign is a feature to take note of too. The latest BeFire moment on social was shared early August/Late July and on the web in mid-June. That’s a timeframe of more than six months since the launch back in January this year. Where does it go from here?

Measure, Adapt, Extend

It’s not a new practice to repurpose content. Some campaigns are designed this way from the start. Why? if a campaign turns out to be successful, brands will consider to extend it and adapt the format. While we don’t have the full reach and engagement stats, the video featured previously generated 10.6k views on the main Ajax account and 4k views on the Ajax Women account on Twitter alone.

With this campaign, one way could be to create a short-form video series on IGTV or YouTube where the players go into more depth about their BeFire moments. On the contrary, it can be converted to a long-form documentary highlighting the wider challenges women football players face. 

Moreover, young girls and boys in Holland are looking up to these players and might be facing similar challenges. With video communications being an integral part of our lives now and for the foreseeable future, the club can host a virtual chat between aspiring young players and the current ones. By using AR and VR technologies it can recreate the experience of sitting around a bonfire.

A simpler way can be encouraging fans to share their own #BeFire moments on social media thus making them an active part of the campaign.

From a business perspective, which existing partner or new sponsor wouldn’t jump on such an opportunity?

In a world of customized and manipulated news feeds campaigns usually go unnoticed or cause a stir. It is widely recommended not to play with fire an Ajax Women are on a slow and gradual burn. Fire goes through anything. It is only a matter of time till the Ajax Women fire will reach you too.

BeFire Moment 1, BeFire Moment 2, BeFire Moment 3, BeFire Moment 4

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