By Katie Deighton | Senior Reporter

September 9, 2016 | 3 min read

Last week saw EE fill out Wembley Stadium for a football match that had nothing to do with any major league.

The likes of Jamie Carragher and Robert Pires were on the pitch, 21,000 people came to watch and a live stream of the match hit 275,000 viewers – most of whom were unaware the whole game was a sleek exercise in content marketing.

The match was the finale of the EE Wembley Cup, an eight-part YouTube series that EE produced in partnership football vlogger Spencer FC. The shows featured Spencer as he undertook a range of football related challenges alongside fellow YouTuber Joe Weller in order to win their dream team to play with at Wembley.

Now in its second year, the campaign is arguably one of the first to heavily invest in the power of influencers to appeal to a young male audience. “It’s about us trying to engage with, and have a conversation and a relationship with, a really hard-to-reach audience: super digital savvy young males,” Peter Jeavons, brand director at EE, told The Drum.

“It’s difficult because they just don't consume traditional media like TV, press and out of home. So having a having a series like this was the perfect way for us to do that.”

Much like Vodafone, which is currently after the tweenage crowd, the target audience is an important one for EE to get on side due to their proclivity for high data usage. “They recognise the need for quality in a data network,” said Jeavons. “We're always looking at ways to try and engage with people who really consume data in that way so they were sort of perfect audience.”

Working with agency Poke, EE pinpointed football as “by far the biggest interest” that enraptures that demographic. The brand’s sponsorship of Wembley Stadium was an easy bonus for the campaign, although this year was the first time the final match was broadcast live, thanks to social media’s sudden interest in the medium.

A campaign partnership with EA Sports was also inked to bring six ‘Fifa legends’ exclusive to Xbox to the pitch, piquing the interest of the young audience further. The Bobby Moore Foundation was selected as the charity partner for the initiative.

The quantitative success of the 2016 Wembley Cup has cemented the power of influencers – particularly YouTubers - in EE’s marketing mind, with last year’s series upping brand consideration in the target audience by 10 per cent, and providing 13 million retargeting opportunities online.

Jeavons added: “The challenge this year was to make The Wembley Cup even bigger and better than the hugely successful first series. Last year’s final episode has had nearly 14 million views and I don’t doubt that we’ll beat that figure this year.”

Marketing EE the Wembley Cup

Other episodes in the series

Episode 1

Cadbury unleashes the moo of its animatronic cow to promote bovine adoption promo

Cadbury Dairy Milk took to the ever-popular activation spot of the Southbank this week with an animatronic cow in order to promote its Buttons brand’s bovine adoption scheme.

Episode 2

‘Alexa, order me a cocktail’: Diageo and Dentsu Aegis test voice activation in the connected bar

Connected devices, the internet of things and voice activation: all innovations the modern marketer usually confines to the bounds of the home. But in Cannes this year Diageo has teamed up with Dentsu Aegis agencies Isobar and iProspect to bring these technologies into a new consumer market: the bar.

Episode 3

Welcome to the mind of Mark Denton: a look at the work in his Art Mart gallery

The extraordinary creative mind that is Mark Denton has his own art gallery – a grocery shop styled show in Shoreditch, London.

Episode 4

Inside the San Miguel Experience: why the brand is investing in immersive events

San Miguel launched its Rich List campaign earlier this year in a bid to celebrate individuals who have dedicated their lives to seeking our new experiences. Now the beer purveyor is turning to live events to help recruit applicants.

Episode 5

‘It’s not a political statement’: why Publicis is celebrating immigration through artwork

Visit Publicis’ London office on Baker Street throughout August and you’ll find yourself in the midst of an art gallery curated to celebrate the creative lifeblood that immigrants – and the children of immigrants – bring to British culture. However the show should not be read as a political statement, according to the agency’s chief executive.

Episode 6

New York's window displays reviewed by Deutsch head of design Roger Bova

Holiday window displays by big retailers make the season sparkle, with shoppers mesmerized by the shiny details that go into each exhibit.

Episode 7

Behind the scenes of EasyJet's last minute Christmas campaign

On a snowy December morning outside of Terminal One of Gatwick Airport, Santa was seen clambering up and down an escalator without a reindeer close by.

Episode 8

ABB on why its title sponsorship of Formula E is as much about brand reputation as awareness

Tech company ABB hopes its title sponsorship of Formula E will finally make it a global name. But the deal is also fuelled by an authentic support of the race’s underlying philosophy – in spite of its political and sporting controversies.

Episode 9

#TrumpBaby takes flight – and proves the brand-building case for crowdfunding

Today (13 July) saw a rotund orange pocket of air fly above London’s Parliament Square in protest of Donald Trump’s visit to the UK. The huge media interest in the event has proven that crowdfunding a creative idea can not only work but can build a solid brand for the project in the process.

Episode 10

Panasonic wants consumers to adopt a ‘buy less, respect more’ approach to tech

Panasonic Design’s dark but calming installation at the London Design Biennale encapsulates the brand’s refreshed approach to tech – one that connects less with 20th century consumerism and more with the Japanese approach to care and respect.

More from Marketing

View all