Brazil: DirecTV GO anti-piracy campaign attracts fans to fake football match conjured by its ad agency

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After learning from the Brazilian Pay TV Association that 33 million Brazilians have accessed pirate services, Mirum, the ad agency for the DirecTV GO streaming service, took it as an opportunity to convert some of them to become DirecTV GO subscribers so they could watch upcoming Champions League matches legally.

So Mirum developed an ambitious campaign to draw attention to DirecTV GO’s programming and the operator’s anti-piracy position: a full 90-minute live football (soccer) match. Originally conceived as a partnership with an actual football team, the agency developed a fake team with fictitious players, scripted a game, and distributed it over the streaming service.

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The match even had live commentators, and the kinds of advertising, pop-ups and banners that would appear in a streaming service.  Viewers were directed to sign up for a seven-day trial.

The campaign was successful: according to an interview with a member of the ad agency, there were more than 20,000 clickthroughs during the first 15 minutes of the match, and the average length of stay was 19 minutes, which was “enough time for our brand messages to reach each viewer five times.”   Via social media, it had attracted more than nine million views.  Other brands began bidding on the same ad words when they saw what the Mirum agency was doing.

DirecTV GO participated in a number of social groups to spread the link to the fictitious match. (Source: LBB / / Mirum Agency / DirecTV GO Brazil)

To keep fans engaged during the fake match, Mirum’s creative staff developed a series of game events that made fun of the real thing, including over-dramatic diving by players, a streaker incident, a bicycle on the pitch, and an injury simulation that lasted five motionless minutes.  Further (fascinating and funny) details are in the articles linked below.

Further reading

This article quotes from the following articles:

How Mirum Brazil broadcast a fake football match to trick football pirates. Article. March 30, 2022. by Ben Conway. Little Black Book (LBB Online).

Why this streaming platform broadcast a fake Champions League football match.  Article. March 18, 2022. Little Black Book (LBB Online)

Why it matters

“Piracy is on the rise in Brazil, so we wanted to demonstrate how there are viable ways to access great quality content without any suspicious links or risks to data security, and most importantly, without infringing on third-party rights,” said Alexander Rocco, digital growth director at DIRECTV GO.  “Mirum was a great partner in doing this and we’re delighted with the results following the activation.”

“…(M)any people don’t see (piracy) as a crime. The behavior gained popularity due to the perception that Cable TV companies and streaming services are very expensive. Educational campaigns on the subject are rare and often carry a negative message about criminalisation, with almost no impact. We wanted to do something different to raise awareness of the issue and highlight DIRECTV GO as a platform that provides quality content that’s risk free and at an affordable price.” Filipe Matiazi, Creative Director at Mirum Brazil

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