Kerala Tourism’s FIFA World Cup campaign salutes 60-year-'young' football fan

Part of their Come Out and Play campaign and the World Cup, Kerala Tourisms’ new video by Stark Communications depicts the story of James, a football fanatic, who happens to be 60

e4m by Neethu Mohan
Updated: Jul 16, 2018 8:56 AM

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia was full of twist and turns. Football fans across the globe vouched for the victory of different teams, mainly Argentina, Brazil, and Germany and crashing all the hopes Croatia and France entered the finals. The 21st final match of the tournament held in Moscow saw France win their second world cup trophy in a six-goal nail-biting match against Croatia yesterday.

The state of Kerala always had a large, passionate following for football even when cricket was the general trend in the country. Every FIFA World Cup would divide every little town in Kerala to fans of different soccer teams. Large screens for viewing football matches would go up everywhere - in cities and villages, flex boards of the team that each region was supporting will be hoisted during the world cup. The football fanatics in Kerala are more centralized in the Malabar region, where they conduct soccer matches named Sevens. The Sevens as the name indicates have seven members in each team with a smaller field. Players from countries like Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana are brought to Kerala during the Sevens competition season. The matches are held by local clubs and local football associations. The recent Malayalam movie ‘Sudani From Nigeria’ narrates a heart-warming story of a Sudanese football player who comes to Kerala to play the Sevens football matches, his struggles and the love and support he receives from the people.

“Kerala’s football fans ardently follow European and Latin American leagues. The state has the largest number of people in the country watching the English Premier League. It even has an extensive Arsenal viewing centre in the town of Thrissur - where Arsenal supporters come together to watch league matches. It also has active and passionate clubs supporting Real Madrid. This unique cultural phenomenon is reflected all over the place during the FIFA matches. The length and breadth of Kerala is covered with posters and banners supporting and challenging different soccer teams says Shelton Pinheiro, Executive Creative Director, Stark Communications Pvt. Ltd.

In fact a hashtag created on Twitter by the renowned Malayalam writer NS Madhavan #flexspotting went viral where the most interesting football flex boards in Kerala during this FIFA World Cup were shared online.

“In this context, Kerala Tourism, and its current theme #comeoutandplay are perfectly in sync with the attitude of the Keralite towards Soccer - the attitude to get out of the routine workspaces and get involved in activities with friends and family,” says Shelton.

Kerala Tourism as part of their Come Out and Play Campaign and World Cup has come up with an uplifting campaign. A 3 minutes 46 seconds video depicting the story of a 60-year-old football fanatic named James. The video is done as part of storytelling campaigns by Stark Communications for Kerala Tourism.

The campaign named Soccer at 60 portrays James who exhibits his football talents in the video. He was an active football player in the 1980’s of team called Ambalavayal FC, Wayanad. In the video, James, a truck driver by profession says he doesn’t miss a day without playing football. You will be amazed the way he dribbles and kicks the football draping a lungi and says with an innocent smile that roasted groundnuts are the secret behind his stamina. He also narrates how he and his friends used to watch world cup matches in the yesteryears and how the advancement of technology has made it easy for them to watch world cup matches today. He also introduces his other friends who were active football players in the 80’s.

The video somehow brings out the contrasts in a Keralites’ life; about how the Malayali can be local and global at the same time, and about how a microcosm of the world is alive and kicking in this little green land.

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