The one with Pelé

What do you do when a major football event arrives? Tesco wanted to start a last-minute loyalty program. And who do you think they came up with? None other than Edson Arantes do Nascimento … Better known as Pelé !! 

Just before the World Cup in Brazil, Tesco decided to broadcast a TV commercial in various European countries. It was meant to attract attention of a big audience. Tesco is an international player in the world of supermarkets. There was little time and there was a very ambitious wish, they wanted the greatest and most famous former football player ever. It soon turned out to be a realistic ambition because Pelé would be available two days later. He was in Egypt at the time. 

15 minutes with Pelé

But, there where a few important details. Pele was only available for fifteen minutes. And when you visit Egypt you were not allowed to bring your own professional video equipment at the time.  So there where Multiple challenges. Challenge 1 was a good script that would make the client and Pelé’s management team happy. A script that can also be recorded in fifteen minutes. Challenge 2 was a correct preparation to ensure that everything runs smoothly up to the recordings, including finding a good Egyptian cameraman. Challenge 3, and that was a very important one for us, who should be the director for this project? Your most experienced director in making this types of video or a director who is at the same time the biggest football fan in the office? 


Challenges 1 and 2 were resolved fairly quickly. The brain session for a concept and the presentation was carried out with an experienced team, after which some minor adjustments were needed but the basis was established. The final script and a good storyboard soon followed. 

All other preparations also went smoothly. A good local camera woman was available and she made all the preparations for the shoot in Cairo. Everything went smoothly until the airline tickets had to be ordered. Because who would board the plane? Challenge 3 was still open. 

The best solution, however painful

The best man (or woman) for the job, is what you always go for, … but this time it was a more emotional issue than usual, because let’s not forget that diehard football madness won’t let you miss out on an opportunity like this, right? ! 

But unfortunately for my colleague Maurits, it wasn’t he but I that did board the airplane to Cairo, where I had a particularly pleasant collaboration with the greatest former football player ever, after which I stepped back into the office a day later. But not empty-handed … 

At Tesco, they were extremely satisfied with how smoothly everything went and of course with the result. This campaign has been run in several European countries and has attracted many new customers to the stores. 


At Hudson & the Dutchmen we have a broad group of strategists and creatives. Suppose you want to start a campaign and you have little time, for example due to current events, then know that we have a lot of experience in this and that we are happy to help you with that. 

Auteur: Coen de Koning – Creative Director





Client info

Tesco is an international player in the world of supermarkets.

The Challenge

Tesco wanted a last-minute loyalty program for several European countries to attract more new customers to its supermarkets. Suddenly the greatest former football player ever became available just before the World Cup, then you go for it … even if you only get fifteen minutes with him and you are briefed two days in advance.

The Outcome

A commercial that was fully used in 2014 during the World Cup football in Brazil. A loyalty program that has generated a lot of brand awareness and extra visitors.