DDB Stockholm and Samsung launch ‘Virtual Motivation’ to get New Mills AFC out of the worst position in UK football
Virtual Reality has fascinated viewers all over the world but can it help the team that has officially been titled England's worst football team? Samsung and DDB Stockholm turn to British football legend, Harry Redknapp, to give New Mills AFC the biggest motivational speech – ever.
New Mills A.F.C is currently in the "Evo-Stik League Northern Premier". At 15/16 in the league table, with only a few games to go, the team were in a tough position to say the least. In fact, the team had not won a single game and had a heart-sinking goal difference of -130. However, before one of their last games of the season, DDB Stockholm and Samsung helped to change their game face. The whole team were equipped with Samsung Gear VR–glasses and had a very special pep talk from none other than footballing legend, Harry Redknapp. Through Virtual Reality Harry was able to speak directly to the players to fire them up to head out on the pitch and put in a last fight for a full three game points.
Adam Fors, Nordic Marketing Director at Samsung comments: “There is tremendous power in VR technology. We are constantly exploring the possibilities of the tech with the aim of finding new ways to help people develop in a number of skillsets and areas. Our football experiment, with help from legendary coach, Harry Redknapp, is a good example of where we have been able to test the effectiveness of ‘virtual motivation’ and make a team feel like winners before kick-off.”
Art Director at DDB Stockholm, Joel Ekstrand adds: “This is the first project in a series for Samsung where we test how by connecting things, in this case the Galaxy S7 and Gear VR, we can create better experiences for people.”
The VR experience happened at the end of May and the film for the campaign launched on 31st May 2016. During the experience, VR was used to raise football players’ motivation and capability. New Mills AFC may be known as England's worst football team, but they, themselves, say they entered the pitch feeling like true heroes.
Michael Boateng, player for New Mills AFC, said: “To be transformed into a professional footballer for 5 minutes was amazing.”
Adam Blackburn, player for New Mills AFC, adds: “It was really inspirational, the adrenaline pumping ’round in my system, it got me going, it made me feel like it was the biggest match I would ever be going in to.”
But how did the game really go? You can see the results on: https://youtu.be/4J3m87KNeMk
Samsung has, in the past few years, worked with Virtual Reality (VR) in a number of projects to test how technology can mediate empathy and encourage positive behavioural change. VR has recently enabled people to experience what it was like in a refugee camp in Jordan from a 12-year-old girl's perspective, in association with UNHCR.
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