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Ad of the Day: EA Sports’s C4 diversity ad tackles lack of British Asian footballers

After waiting months to release its new Fifa 21 spot, EA Sports has finally revealed its new campaign for the popular football title.

The campaign was named winner of Channel 4’s Diversity in Advertising Award back in December, alongside its ad agency Adam&Eve DDB, claiming £1m worth of commercial airtime for its "authentic portrayal" of UK Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) cultures. Four months later, it’s finally destined to air.

Right now, only 0.25% of the UK’s 4,000 professional footballers are British Asians. In response to the Channel 4 brief, EA Sports wanted to highlight this issue of representation.

The ad features Premier League star and newly-signed EA Sports Fifa Ambassador, Hamza Choudhury, and explores the Midnight Ramadan League – a grassroots football team set up to help those who struggle to play during their Ramadan fast, with matches kicking off after Iftar and before suhoor.

Directed by Bassam Tariq and produced by Pulse Films, the advert tells the story of Qaiser, a British Asian teenager who is a role model to his younger sister, Aaminah. After breaking his fast, we follow Qaiser as he leaves the family home late at night before arriving at the Midnight Ramadan League pitch.

Following a robust tackle that knocks Qaiser to the floor, his role model Choudhury lifts him up off the pitch before taking the ball and scoring a goal. The advert concludes with Qaiser arriving back home, exhilarated by the game and explaining the night to his excited younger sister.

The winning TV activity is part of the wider ‘Inspire The Next Generation’ EA Sports campaign, which aims to start fixing the obstacles which have held back British Asian football talent for generations.

Running since 2016, Channel 4’s annual diversity award focuses on a different area of diversity to encourage the ad industry to embrace inclusive creative campaigns.

Previous winners include Starbucks, which won for its efforts in tackling stereotyping of the LGBT+ community on TV, the RAF for mocking gender stereotypes, and Lloyds for its campaign on mental health. Perhaps the most famous was Maltesers’ disability work, which won in the first year.

For any brands looking to enter the mix next year, The Drum has compiled a guide on how to win the prestigious fund.

You can watch ‘Inspiring the Next Generation of Footballers’ in full above or click on the Creative Works gallery below to vote for it. To get in touch about Ad of the Day, please email imogen.watson@thedrum.com.

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