Mirum Agency: DIRECTV GO’S The Pirate Match

Two of the fake footballers from the campaign

Mirum Agency: DIRECTV GO’S The Pirate Match

Curbing illegal streaming by broadcasting a fake football match

Brazil is one of the biggest consumers of pirated pay TV in the world. Around 33 million Brazilians regularly access content this way, with football being one of the most popular programmes on these platforms.

To highlight this issue and disrupt the broader piracy ecosystem in the country, DIRECTV GO and Mirum, a Wunderman Thompson Company broadcast The Pirate Match, a live-streamed football match where everything was fake.

Anyone who tried to watch the Champions League match between Atlético de Madrid and Manchester United illegally found a game full of surprises.

The agency ran a Google search campaign targeting people who were looking for the Champions League match for free. When those searching clicked on one of the links, they found The Pirate Match, a 90-minute broadcast where everything looked like the real thing but wasn't, to demonstrate the risks associated with using illegal streaming services.

Instead of seeing Manchester United and Atlético de Madrid, fans were watching a staged match between Mão Chester United and Atlético de Mandirituba. The campaign played mischievously on words with mão – the Brazilian word for hand - sounding very similar to the English word man, thereby creating a team called Handchester United. Mandirituba is actually a town south of São Paulo but many times smaller than Madrid with a population of just over 22,000. And so, rather than watching Ronaldo and Suarez, viewers found lookalikes, playing at an amateur level with counterfeit commentators, phony referees, and even fictitious fans.

Viewers were then directed to DIRECTV GO where they could access the real broadcast for free via a seven-day trial of the platform and see for themselves how DIRECTV offers quality content that’s risk free, at an affordable price.

The campaign won two Bronze Awards in Entertainment for Sport and Brand Experience & Activation at Cannes Lions 2022.