Mastercard, one of the major sponsors of the FIFA 2006 World Cup, has an international television advertising campaign celebrating football fans affected by football fever. The 60 second TV ad begins in darkness, focusing on the face of a man lying awake, too excited to sleep. In many other places people wait in anticipation. We’re launched into a suspenseful version of ‘Fever’.
Never know how much I love you
Never know how much I care
When you put your arms around me
I get a fever that’s so hard to bear
Outside people in all walks of life are suffering the effects of adrenaline-soaked fever – overheating, sweating, eyes wide open, stripping off, riding into water.
You give me fever when you kiss me
Fever when you hold me tight
Fever in the morning
Fever all through the night
It becomes obvious that the fever is connected with football fanaticism as the sounds of a football crowd are mixed in with the music. The fever reaches its peak as individuals and groups watching and listening to football matches dance and leap for joy.
Everybody’s got the fever
That is something you all know
Fever, ’till you sizzle
What a lovely way to burn.
The Mastercard Fever spot finishes with a fan in a railway station erupting into joy as he shouts “GOAL!”.
The tagline: Football fever: Priceless.
Mastercard have an online campaign associated with the Fever pitch: www.mastercard.com/fifaworldcup, hosted in English, German, Spanish, French and Portugese. Fans have the opportunity to test their football fever in an online quiz. The site includes stats, bios, journals and videos from Pele, Klinsmann and Howard, an insider’s guide to each of the 12 host cities in Germany, and the TV ad streamed as a Windows Media video.
The Mastercard Football Fever campaign was developed by advertising agency McCann Erickson, London, whose team included copywriter and art director Stephen Ward, agency producer Frank Lieberman and planner David O’Hanlon. Media planner was Neil Harrison from Universal Media.
Filming was directed by Michael Middleton via Peter Gird Productions, South Africa with producer Peter Gird. The shot was filmed in five countries across four continents using more than 100 people, many cast from the street.
Fever – The Song
And now for the background to the backing song, Fever. The song was written in 1956 by Otis Blackwell and Eddie Cooley. Blackwell gave his credit to stepfather John Davenport to avoid contractual obligations with bandleader Joe Davis. The first recording was by Little Willie John. Peggy Lee made Fever into a hit in 1958. Other artists to cover Fever have included Elvis Presley, Michael Bublé, Eva Cassidy, Ray Charles and Natalie Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Madonna and Bette Midler.
Frank Lieberman, producer at McCann Erickson London, auditioned a number of well known singers, including South Africa’s Lady Smith Black Mambasa, but found no-one who could crack the suspenseful approach needed. In the end, Frank’s own daughter did the recording for the Mastercard Football Fever TV Ad.