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From Boxheads to Inflatable Unicorns: The Brands that Dazzled During EURO 2020

by Louis Hobbs Avatar


  • Posted on Thursday 15th July, 2021

After a month of tears, jubilation and drama, football may not have come home, but EURO 2020 certainly came to an emphatic end as Italy defeated England in heart-breaking fashion at Wembley Stadium.

Our client, Hisense, global TV and appliances manufacturer and official sponsor of UEFA EURO 2020, helped us almost bring football home with its Lucky Chip campaign. One of our personal highlights was taking football-loving Belle McNally to the final to watch her hero Mason Mount in action – with Hatch facilitating interviews from Wembley with both LadBible and The Sun!

Off the field, brands had their own competition to capture the attention and hearts of fans and consumers. Now the tournament is wrapped up, here’s the EURO 2020 brand activity that we feel captivated the occasion and outperformed competitors.

Firstly, the official beer of the England men’s football team, Bud Light, thought inside the box for its creative campaign. Their strategy saw close-up shots of Kyle Walker, Jordan Pickford, and Kieran Trippier’s faces being printed on the front of their customed-designed drinks packaging, enabling fans to honour their idols with a beer and box you can wear. Building on this, they launched the #BoxHeadKeepieUppie challenge, which spurred thousands of influencers and fans to attempt the test and post it on their social media channels, further promoting the brand.


TikTok’s #wherefansplay has proven to be one of the most used hashtags of the summer, applying a real-time marketing approach that provided a constant influx of content. With appearances of Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham and Ed Sheeran, the tournament was brought to life through this short-video format, and undoubtedly bonded the TikTok and footballing communities. Even the England team jumped on the hype creating some hysterical videos for fans to engage with, the most popular being a rather spectacularly edited video of Bukaya Saka on one of England’s trademark inflatable unicorns.

EE has a long and established partnership with the FA, and being the lead partner for Wembley Stadium, they had all the tools to create some sensational content. In 2018, they debuted a video-series named ‘Lions’ Den’, which returned and was broadcasted daily throughout Euro 2020 from the team’s training ground St George’s Park. Hosted by ex-Love Island personality Josh Denzel, the content-series gave Three Lions fans the opportunity to interact directly with the players daily, whilst giving a comprehensive look into Southgate’s team.

Away from the tournaments official sponsors, a plethora of brands launched eye-catching tv-ads that unquestionably grasped the consumers attention. Irn-Bru joked at Scotland’s 16-year absence any international tournament with their witty ‘Tournament Virgins’ commercial. Whilst, Sports Direct sent shivers down everyone’s spine with their star studded line-up that justified how football is not ‘just a game’.


UK-based company Liberty Games created a brilliant, yet simple Euro 2020 themed ‘Where’s Wally? esc’ puzzle which reaped quick rewards. The brainteaser challenged fans to find the famous trophy hidden somewhere in a busy pub scene to help the players ‘bring it home’.

In the build-up to the final, brands including the Royal Mail, Specsavers, and Lynx celebrated England’s historic win over Denmark in the semi-finals of the competition with creative twists on the acclaimed ‘It’s Coming Home’ slogan.

Contrastingly to these success stories, EURO 2020 set a record for the highest number of own goals scored in any international tournament, so here are a few blunders that led brands into committing the ultimate error.

In attempt to jump on the bandwagon of England’s semi-final triumph, Tesco were certainly clutching at straws with their social post. This poor attempt at engaging the fanbase only resulted in some of their main competitors Sainsbury’s and Iceland responding to their howler, ultimately having the last laugh.

Main sponsors Coca-Cola and Heineken both felt the viral ripples caused by simple from stars of the world’s most popular sport. Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba both expressed their displeasure with both brands being present when giving a press conference during the tournament, with CR7 even swapping a bottle of Coca-Cola for water, in a clip that was widely shared on social media. While this may seem harmless to some, the “bottle battle” hasn’t done Coca-Cola many favours, with a reported $4 billion fall in share price ensuing from the aftermath of Ronaldo and Pogba’s high-profile snubs.

It takes nerve to break through the noise, and it can easily go wrong! So, if you’re a brand looking for support with your online visibility and audience engagement, please get in touch at hello@hatchpr.co.uk