Feral Fuels England’s Lionesses On The Road To Continental Success.

Spring 2022 kicked off in style for Feral, with a high-octane commission from marketing gurus, ISG. The task was to support them in showcasing their athletic brand activation for elite partnership, Continental Tyres and England’s Lionesses, as they sky-rocketed towards international success.

It’s often said, ‘There’s no place like home’. So what better place to film the first of ISG’s innovative ‘Grip the Nation Challenges’, than the Lionesses home training ground, St George’s Park?

Here we met with Midfielder Katie Zeleem and Forwards, Rachel Daly, and Georgia Stanway. The players were set two intriguing challenges which would demonstrate both their athletic skill and their engaging personalities.

Challenge 1: ‘car tennis’, AKA an elaborate game of keepy-ups. Big whoop, right?

But throw a brand new Merc, complete with a dazzling set of Continental’s’ top-of-the range SportContact 7s into the mix, and the stakes get a little higher.

The players now had to use every trick in the box to achieve a rally of five, without pelting the ball clean through any of the car windows.

Challenge 2: target practice. This featured a goal with one SportContact7 tyre tightly rigged to each corner, and one in the centre. The players attempted to rack up different points depending on the demand-levels of the tyres they scored through.

Given the Lionesses international prowess, the timeframe was tight. In fact, we had only one hour with the players, in which to capture some really quality material from both challenges. No time was wasted by Creative Producer and Director Robin, in carrying out a thorough recce of the location, well in advance, and fine-tuning the schedule to ensure peak efficiency.

The players’ accuracy was matched only by their affability, and it was central to the success of the campaign that this shone through. This, again, was achieved through tactical planning on Robin’s part, to ensure that the pressurised demands of a packed filming schedule didn’t inhibit the players’ ability to relax and have fun in front of the camera.

The Lionesses may have made the tasks seem simple, but navigating the story-telling of the scoring and points system was a complex affair.

By carefully designing on-brand motion graphics in advance of the shoot, we were able to flexibly integrate the actual outcomes of the tasks into the final deliverables on a very tight turnaround.

All told, the event was a roaring success and we awaited the second phase with baited breath.

Fast forward six weeks, and the elite meet again for the second in the Grip the Nation Challenge series. Our new location was the illustrious Mercedes-Benz World, the perfect place to showcase the latest in Continental’s range of high performance tyres.

Here, we meet former England International, Karen Carney and top sports Presenter, Laura Woods of Sky Sports, ITV and TalkSport on the Radio fame.

The women are presented with two identical Mercedes C63 AMGs in which to complete their Grip The Nation Challenges, both fundamentally focussing on (you guessed it) grip.

However, the match is rigged, in that one car is equipped with a brand new set of Continental’s top of the range ContactSport7s, and the other has budget tyres from an undisclosed manufacturer at the other end of the spectrum.

Challenge 1: To attempt the smooth control of the vehicle on the skid-pad without skidding out.
Challenge 2: A target breaking challenge, requiring the drivers to break at high speeds and accurately position the vehicle within a designated box.

By installing high performance camera rigs in each vehicle, our Camera Op was able to cleanly capture high-quality DSLR close ups of each driver’s experience.

First, the light-hearted exasperation of Laura Woods’ co-driver, as she struggled to contain the vehicle’s 360 skid-out response on budget tyres. This then beautifully juxtaposed with the ultra smooth, slo-mo drone shots of Karen Carney, rocking Continental’s SportContact 7s, and cornering the skid-pad with the ease of a pro Rally Driver.

With both vehicles fully rigged, we were able to run many of the car test sequences simultaneously. This was perfect for the target breaking challenge, as Carney slickly manoeuvres into the target box like a key to a lock, whilst Woods’ budget tyres send her sailing on by for another 20 metres.

The vehicles being driven can achieve 0-60 in under 4 seconds, and the presenters did not hold back when told to drive as fast as they could. Both women were mic’d up so we could couple their ecstatic commentary with all the requisite revving, squealing and breaking folly that you might expect from a brand new C63 AMG, being driven at break-neck speeds.

A key asset for our editing team on this shoot was the use of producer/director monitoring and audio from the vantage point of our video village.

With so much fast paced in-car material being generated, this gave us a moment-to-moment understanding of events inside the vehicle, enabling on-the-fly editorialising, which streamlined post-production tenfold.

Both challenges were topped off with some well-scripted reflections from the drivers, cut through with the ad hoc technical expertise from Continental’s host, Phil, giving a quick insight into the science behind SportConact7s’ success.

At the end of the day, Feral brought it home with flair. We are confident that our slick series of deliverables will help to support the phenomenal achievements of all the contributors.
Come on England!