Beer and Brazilian football have a rocky past. For years, the sale of alcohol at stadiums has been banned in an effort to reduce violence. And this year, a new law banned beer brands from sponsoring players’ jerseys.
AB InBev brand Brahma is one of Brazilian football’s biggest sponsors, and needed to find a new way to insert itself into gameplay while communicating two key product attributes: smoothness and foam.
There’s a football tradition of famous players, such as David Beckham with his mohawk and cornrows and Ronaldinho and his headband, sporting unusual hairstyles that inspire copycat haircuts among other players and fans. Tapping into this aspect of football culture, Brahma worked with São Paulo-based agency Africa to launch its own hairstyle: the Foamy Haircut.
Created with Ariel Franco, a Brazilian barber known for his iconic cuts, the Foamy Haircut resembles a glass full of Brahma: golden liquid below, white foam on top. The campaign launched on 10 July 2021, when São Paulo FC left-back Reinaldo Manoel da Silva (known as Reinaldo) played in a game between Sao Paulo FC and Bahia, assisting Liziero to score the winning goal. Reinaldo appeared with the Foamy Haircut, and the following day, Brahma released a spot showing Franco and Reinaldo creating the look.
The haircut was then copied by numerous other Brazilian footballers (including Chelsea FC’s Thiago Silva and Jorginho during their UEFA Super Cup win), pundits, and fans.
“Brahma’s smoothness is such that it goes beyond beer and goes into the players’ heads,” said Marina Raats, Brahma’s marketing manager, in a press release. “Among so many things, the hair of male and female players is something iconic within soccer. Many athletes become idols and are recognised, not only for what they present on the field, but also for their looks. So, in an unusual way, we decided to create the cut that is dictating fashion this decade, all this to bring Brahmoothness to people in a different way.”
Results: According to the agency, within two weeks of launching, the Foamy Haircut hit the brand’s annual mentions and engagement goal, with 264,288 mentions, 91% of which were generated organically.
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