Helping the ‘Hand of God’ with social media

  • PR

Handball #FAIL

Each month, Communicate magazine poses a crisis management situation from a historical event and asks agencies for modern say solutions. This month it’s World Cup-themed and we’re rewinding back to 1986 and England’s World Cup quarter-final with Argentina and ‘that’ handball incident…

“Diego Maradona scores the decisive goal with a clear hand ball. England are outraged. With video evidence irrefutable, what advice would you give to Diego to protect his brand, retain his commercial endorsements, and calm the diplomatic crisis?”

Umpf’s response (full article here):

Only ‘sorry’, humility, humour and social media can save brand Maradona.

Because of his outrageous behaviour, first must come a personal apology from Maradona to every man, woman and child in England.

We’d film an apology for an online video. Enter a friend’s name, email and their photo, hit send and they receive a link to a bespoke video showing Maradona personally apologising by holding up a photo of the friend. Spreading virally, Maradona would be seen to be offering personal apologies across the land.

Next, the humour. First, a quick commercial tie-up with a Bluetooth headset company so Maradona can go ‘hands-free’ without losing any more friends.

Second, a short online video for brand Maradona showing what would have happened if his handball had not gone in the net. This time Shilton saves it and England go on to win the World Cup. Back home, Argentina revolts and Maradona becomes reviled.

In the final shot of the film we see Maradona, a broken man, begging on the streets of Buenos Aires. The camera zooms out to show Maradona begging with a friend – fellow handball ‘goal thief’ Thierry Henry.

Hosted on Maradona’s YouTube Channel, and launched through his Twitter feed, the video would demonstrate humility, humour and social media savoir-faire.

Communicate Magazine: Hand of God