Football Match on the Thames

Case Study


CUNNING was briefed was to create a PR stunt for the European launch of Dockers Jeans. The PR stunt had to use real turf (grass) to reflect the above the line campaign.

In addition, the stunt had to generate word-of-mouth exposure over and above any generated by resulting PR coverage.


To communicate the ATL CUNNING turfed a large flat-bed barge and played a game of football on it whilst it sailed down the Thames. The Thames is a focal point of London and benefits from high footfall over the many bridges that commuters use during the morning rush hour. This strategy communicated the pre-requisite of using turf, and generated further talkabillity by executing the stunt during the morning rush hour.

To ensure coverage we created a ‘media fist’ by saying it was the first time that football had been played on the Thames since 1904, the last time the Thames completely froze over.  

CUNNING hired the 40ft long barge and project managed the turfing. Branding was added using white chalk and look-a-like premiership footballers were hired to play football and create intrigue.

Prior to the event CUNNING sent models dressed in specially made AstroTurf dresses to target media, armed with the AstroTurf press release.

In addition, CUNNING created a website featuring an interactive spot-the-ball competition. To promote this, promo staff were positioned on the major traffic carrying bridges, flyering the slow-moving traffic.


Press coverage included the Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mirror, whilst broadcast media included London Tonight, Newsround and This Morning, with a media value of £615,000 and a circulation of 17,998,688.

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