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The 2018 FIFA World Cup Is Here

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Is Here

Natasha Smith

Natasha Smith

June 12, 2018

Havas is getting into all the hype—and has even created a brilliant solution for fervent fans who can’t skip work during the tournament.

OK. There’s no doubt that Havas staffers around the world are ardent football fans, and that means all eyes will be on the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia this year. Starting June 14, 32 countries will go toe-to-toe (pun intended) for the prestigious title and, of course, the coveted gilded trophy.

In honor of the competition, our teammates at BETC Paris will present Par amour du jeu 1998-2018 (For the love of the game), an exhibition where football meets the contemporary arts and explores their impact on society and communities. The agency will construct a fully functioning football field so our folks can get into the spirit.

Also in the spirit of FIFA, from Prague is a new campaign for Amnesty International that uses the World Cup as a platform to raise awareness about biases against gay sportsmen and to support the LGBTQA+ community in Russia, where members of that community can be fined, jailed, or even deported. The campaign highlights snapshots of players’ most emotional and intimate moments on the field.

At this year’s Cannes Lions, the Havas Café will be streaming all of the live football matches, so those caught up in the daily festival activities don’t have to miss their country’s football matches.

So what about those who can’t play hooky from work and meetings to see the matches? Havas Düsseldorf and Radio.net have a solution: The Football Pen. Because Germany is the current champion, winning its fourth title in 2014, German fans have a vested interest in watching the World Cup this year—but Germans are also a people with a great commitment to their work.

Darren Richardson, CCO for Havas Düsseldorf and European Executive Creative Director of Digital, drills into the passion for football, the commitment to the job, and explains the origins of The Football Pen.

"When you bite down on the end of the pen, it vibrates into the jawbone, which is connected to the inner ear. And presto, a personal, live broadcast."

Just how serious are German football fans about the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia?

Totally serious. Germany is a very proud nation, having won the World Cup four times. Brazil is the only country with more championship titles (five). So when the World Cup comes around, the whole nation is behind the team and the players.

People come to work in football jerseys, and they listen to games via radio or live streaming on their laptops. To fans, the game of football is as serious as work.

The games kick off on Thursday, June 14. That’s a workday—and the tournament will continue through July 15, so people have to continue to work. What problem does that pose for fans who cannot skip work? A major problem. It’s like buying a big cream cake and knowing you can’t eat it. Of course, social media will play a big part in keeping them up-to-date. But honestly, it’s a nightmare, even for those people who aren’t die-hard fans.

Radio.net worked with Havas Düsseldorf to solve that problem for fervent fans, so what’s the solution?

Well, we saw the conflicting issue of love of the game and commitment to work—it’s a tricky balance. We developed a solution that enables you to actually enjoy the game without disturbing people around you—and a bonus: you’re also at work.

It was a simple insight. While concentrating, you sometimes chew on a pen. So we took that pen and turned it into a live broadcast of the game using bone conduction technology. When you bite down on the end of the pen, it vibrates into the jawbone, which is connected to the inner ear. And presto, a personal, live broadcast.

How did the idea come about?

The creative, Tobias von Aesch, who is a bit of a geek (we call him proto-tobi, because he is always experimenting and trying to find solutions with technology), came up with the idea; he also worked with our in-house creative technologist, Arnaud Atchimon. They connected the tech with the idea. And we teamed up with radio.net who was super-excited about making it and about raffling off the pens to a few lucky winners.

Is this an idea that will be extended to other major events?

Currently, no. But honestly, it will work with any broadcast event from radio.net.

What’s been the response so far?

We launched to a select few in April, and the response was amazing. People don’t really believe it until they actually experience The Football Pen in action.

Have you heard if anyone has gotten caught with the radio pen in a meeting?

No, not so far. But I would love to hear some stories.

Will the pen be available outside of Germany?

Yes. Enter the raffle or go here for another chance to win.

OK. There’s no doubt that Havas staffers around the world are ardent football fans, and that means all eyes will be on the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia this year. Starting June 14, 32 countries will go toe-to-toe (pun intended) for the prestigious title and, of course, the coveted gilded trophy.

In honor of the competition, our teammates at BETC Paris will present Par amour du jeu 1998-2018 (For the love of the game), an exhibition where football meets the contemporary arts and explores their impact on society and communities. The agency will construct a fully functioning football field so our folks can get into the spirit.

Also in the spirit of FIFA, from Prague is a new campaign for Amnesty International that uses the World Cup as a platform to raise awareness about biases against gay sportsmen and to support the LGBTQA+ community in Russia, where members of that community can be fined, jailed, or even deported. The campaign highlights snapshots of players’ most emotional and intimate moments on the field.

At this year’s Cannes Lions, the Havas Café will be streaming all of the live football matches, so those caught up in the daily festival activities don’t have to miss their country’s football matches.

So what about those who can’t play hooky from work and meetings to see the matches? Havas Düsseldorf and Radio.net have a solution: The Football Pen. Because Germany is the current champion, winning its fourth title in 2014, German fans have a vested interest in watching the World Cup this year—but Germans are also a people with a great commitment to their work.

Darren Richardson, CCO for Havas Düsseldorf and European Executive Creative Director of Digital, drills into the passion for football, the commitment to the job, and explains the origins of The Football Pen.

"When you bite down on the end of the pen, it vibrates into the jawbone, which is connected to the inner ear. And presto, a personal, live broadcast."

Just how serious are German football fans about the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia?

Totally serious. Germany is a very proud nation, having won the World Cup four times. Brazil is the only country with more championship titles (five). So when the World Cup comes around, the whole nation is behind the team and the players.

People come to work in football jerseys, and they listen to games via radio or live streaming on their laptops. To fans, the game of football is as serious as work.

The games kick off on Thursday, June 14. That’s a workday—and the tournament will continue through July 15, so people have to continue to work. What problem does that pose for fans who cannot skip work? A major problem. It’s like buying a big cream cake and knowing you can’t eat it. Of course, social media will play a big part in keeping them up-to-date. But honestly, it’s a nightmare, even for those people who aren’t die-hard fans.

Radio.net worked with Havas Düsseldorf to solve that problem for fervent fans, so what’s the solution?

Well, we saw the conflicting issue of love of the game and commitment to work—it’s a tricky balance. We developed a solution that enables you to actually enjoy the game without disturbing people around you—and a bonus: you’re also at work.

It was a simple insight. While concentrating, you sometimes chew on a pen. So we took that pen and turned it into a live broadcast of the game using bone conduction technology. When you bite down on the end of the pen, it vibrates into the jawbone, which is connected to the inner ear. And presto, a personal, live broadcast.

How did the idea come about?

The creative, Tobias von Aesch, who is a bit of a geek (we call him proto-tobi, because he is always experimenting and trying to find solutions with technology), came up with the idea; he also worked with our in-house creative technologist, Arnaud Atchimon. They connected the tech with the idea. And we teamed up with radio.net who was super-excited about making it and about raffling off the pens to a few lucky winners.

Is this an idea that will be extended to other major events?

Currently, no. But honestly, it will work with any broadcast event from radio.net.

What’s been the response so far?

We launched to a select few in April, and the response was amazing. People don’t really believe it until they actually experience The Football Pen in action.

Have you heard if anyone has gotten caught with the radio pen in a meeting?

No, not so far. But I would love to hear some stories.

Will the pen be available outside of Germany?

Yes. Enter the raffle or go here for another chance to win.

Natasha Smith is the strategic communications manager for Havas Group. She happily represents 404 in the 212.

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