Why is everyone talking about Zlatan Ibrahimović’s tattoos? Well, on the 14th of February, Paris Saint-German played against Caen in a Ligue 1 match at the Parc des Princes. In the opening two minutes came a cross from Yohan Cabaye to Serge Aurier who whipped the ball in for the big Swede to plant the ball in the back of the net with his deadly right foot. Now, for non-football (please don’t call it soccer I beg of you) enthusiasts, what I just said may have been just a regular goal in a regular football match.
The action that followed after that peach of a strike, was what got the press talking.
Zlatan celebrated by taking off his shirt to reveal a host of new tattoos. Now to do such a thing in only the second minute of a match seemed irrational, but the reasoning was quite touching.
He had teamed up with the World Food Programme to have his tattoos include 50 names from the 805 million people who are suffering from malnutrition and hunger. I still can’t believe how substantial that figure is. The Swedish agency responsible for bringing this kind gesture further into the limelight, was Forsman & Bodenfors who have an array of awards to the their name, including ‘Independent Agency of the Year’ for 2014 at Cannes Lions.
What’s in the ad?
Ibra is quoted as saying ‘Wherever I go people recognize me’, showing the reality of superstardom in this era of footballing prima donnas. However, the enigmatic Swede shows his sensitive side as he recalls the names that no one recognizes or cheers for. Some awesome hand lettering is shown as Zlatan begins to name a few of the names that now don his different parts of his torso. He is the physical embodiment of the campaign itself. He goes on to say that the support he is shown week in week out, should go to the people who really need it.
Sometimes the colour used in a commercial may be overlooked, however I thought it played a strong part in conveying the message necessary. The black and white palette used in the advertisement evokes a mixture of strong emotions and absence of neutrality. The mantra at the end pretty much sums up the whole commercial – ‘Make sure the world knows’.
In football (still not soccer), it is often said that the most passionate of players wear their heart on their sleeve. Zlatan is no exception to this. Despite him being reprimanded what really matters is that he managed to get the message through.
This campaign was for the World Food Programme, the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. In emergencies, they get food to where it is needed, saving the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters. WFP is part of the United Nations system and it is voluntarily funded.