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Many know Pepsi for its refreshing flavors, iconic American history since the late 1800s, and spunky commercials during the annual Super Bowl games. Also known for fusing art and sport, the brand is continuing its dedication by partnering with some of today’s most prominent soccer players, local artists, and world-renowned photographer Danny Clinch for its recent campaign entitled “LOVE IT. LIVE IT. FOOTBALL.”
International soccer stars from across the globe worked with hand-picked artists from their home countries to emphasize the sport’s worldwide impact. From there, Clinch created artistic overlays for each piece, working with the creative art details, and portraits of the soccer players. Today, the final images are set to be presented all over the world—on products, billboards, print campaigns, and more.
“Pepsi has a long history in supporting the arts in its many forms—from music to emerging street art,” said Paul Woodvine, Design Director and Global Brand Experience at PepsiCo. “We are excited to support these five emerging artists this year by presenting their beautiful work on a global stage and scale, telling a story that goes beyond a love for the game.”
To learn more about the campaign, we spoke with Woodvine, Lionel Messi’s selected artist, Diego Jimenez (known as DIYE), and Carli Lloyd’s selected artist, Kim Sielbeck.
WHITEWALL: Tell us a bit about your new campaign and working with these creatives.
PAUL WOODVINE: With the world’s most popular sport in the hearts and minds of people, we wanted to honor football’s most iconic heroes in an impactful and inspiring way, with the distinctive “Art of Football” aesthetic weaving together all elements of the campaign. We partnered with world-renowned photographer Danny Clinch to take authentic portraits of each of our global athletes, and then brought to life their personal stories and passion with illustrations from incredible local artists from each players’ home country.
WW: Why was the merging of art and sport important for the brand?
PW: Pepsi is known for bringing football legends to the world in unexpected ways, offering fans a never-before-seen side of the players they adore. Each photograph captures the spirit, character and energy of the individual athlete, and acts as the canvas for an ardent visual artist that also shares the same roots as the featured player. It is this unlikely yet exciting fusion of art and sport that allowed us to bring the beautiful game to life in an unique way for fans around the world.
WW: How did you go about choosing these artists?
PW: Working with our talented in-house global design team and creative partner, Vault 49, we hand-selected visual artists from each players’ home country based on shared background, football passion and synergy—and of course, style. Each artist created a visual narrative through their own unique interpretations to share a personal look at how the players love and live the game on and off the pitch.
WW: What did you want the audience to feel with this campaign?
PW: We created the 2018 “LOVE IT. LIVE IT. FOOTBALL.” campaign in hopes of bringing energy and love for the beautiful game to all generations around the world in an impactful, imaginative way.
WW: DIYE, tell us a bit about how soccer has impacted you. Do you have a favorite soccer moment?
DIYE: Soccer is my favorite sport, by far. It’s more than just a sport, because it unites generations, social classes, and genders—and that’s amazing. I have many amazing memories connected to this sport. Throughout my childhood, it was an Argentinian tradition to play football in the streets when we were kids. There’s certain aspects of the sport that I love, like the strength, power, impact, and dynamism that it brings.
WW: What do you most admire about Messi?
D: Messi is a player with a big heart and has the strength of a lion. He is the king of the field. He revolutionized the game simply by playing it.
WW: Tell us a bit about your thoughts on the fusion of art and sport.
D: Sport is an art and players are artists. Just like artists, players have their own unique style. It’s almost impossible to compare myself with Messi, as he is the best at what he does. That being said, we are both Argentinians and have the same passion for the sport and our national team. Leo is known for what he does on the field, but I wanted to take this opportunity to show who he is off of it too – his real self, full of perseverance and hard work. His name and surname mean the same in two languages. His full name, Lionel, has “lion” right in it. It’s as if his future had been predestined from the day of his birth.
WW: What excites you about working with Pepsi for this campaign?
D: What excited me most about working for a huge brand like Pepsi (one that I admire a lot) is that they always put a lot of emphasis on helping artists and their campaigns succeed. I was also beyond excited to work on a piece with Messi because he’s my favorite player of all time, and it feels like the perfect way to honor his success. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that not only Messi, but people all around the world, will see this art.
WW: Kim, tell us a bit about your relationship with soccer. What strikes you about Carli Lloyd?
KIM SIELBECK: As a child, we moved around a lot because of my father’s military career. Soccer was always a great way to meet people and find new friends. I love watching it, as well. I remember being especially proud of the USA in 2015 when Carli Lloyd scored three goals in the first 16 minutes. It was so unbelievable to watch, and so exciting for the USA. She brought soccer to a new level in the States, and certainly inspired a lot of players. It was amazing!
WW: Tell us a bit about art and sports. Do you feel there are similarities?
KS: With both art and football, there are certain skills you hone in on at different times. You have to be able to step back and look at a piece as a whole, while also being able to focus in on each detail and see how it will affect the piece. I think the same can be said about football and Carli Lloyd—being able to step back and see how the whole game and team are looking, and also pay attention to each move you make as an individual. I think Carli’s message of “work harder than everyone else and you’ll find success” especially resonates with me. Nothing comes easily, but if you put in the hours and are dedicated, achieving your goals becomes much more feasible.
WW: Tell us a bit about what it means for you to collaborate with Pepsi.
KS: Being able to collaborate not only with Pepsi, but also Carli Lloyd, was a fun challenge. I was able to make art that represented both, and still stay true to my style. Also, working with a client like Pepsi that is so big was very exciting. The process was interesting—being able to see how things started, how they evolved, different elements that were brought out and pushed back. It was exciting, and I think the end result is very strong.