An Close Encounter With Greatness…

lv_legendssmThe ad ran in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday. Great timing considering the level of interest in the 2010 FIFA World Cup had ratcheted up considerably with the United States making just made it into the “knockout round” the day before (See “The Americans Have Landed” which appeared on page D8 in the same paper).

The picture, that was the focal point of this 3/4 page ad, drew me in. It showed futbol legends, Pele, Zidane and Maradona surrounding a foosball table (essentially table-top soccer).  The look on Zidane’s face is priceless and Pele is clearly having a lot of fun too. As my eyes moved down the page, I noticed that it was a Louis Vuitton ad with a companion website:

So, the first thing I did was tear the page out of my Journal, and take it with me to my office computer. I wanted to see what it was all about.


The page that greeted me said, “WATCH AND COMMENT ON THIS EPIC MATCH.”  Along the bottom of the page, the options are:

1 – An Epic Match
2 – The Three Greats
3 – Get an Autograph
4 – Campaign

In the middle of the screen are tips on how to comment (“Share your thoughts”).

When I pressed “Start the match,” it took me to round one: Zidane vs. Pele.


It seemed like a lot of fun.  I was being encouraged to cheer, but I really didn’t quite get it (like where the cheers would appear).

The next part is kind of cool. It gives you an opportunity to interview the three legends. There is a list of questions. You pick the legend and the question, then sit back while you listen to the answers.


After my personalized interview, I am given options to share on Facebook, Twitter or here:

Note: When you share on Facebook, you aren’t given an option to edit the original post.

So far, I like the campaign a lot.  However, it is quite complex/time-consuming. In fact, I am writing this post while watching a FIFA Round of 16 match.

Background Search:

I really was interested in learning more about how this campaign came about. First stop was Option 4 – Campaign on the website.   I was disappointed to find that the explanation was written in “shout” style (ALL CAPS). Also, they did it as a graphic so the option of cutting and pasting isn’t available. In other words, it isn’t blogger or search engine friendly.

The “About” explains how travel is an emotional experience, a process of self-discovery. It has also been the defining value of Louis Vuitton for more than 150 years. It explains how the company communicates in two different but complementary ways: with seasonal fashion statements and a long-term campaign about the company’s core values. It references previous campaigns, photographed by Annie Leibovitz and then mentioned how this year, “to celebrate the 2010 world cup, we add Pele, Diego Maradon and Zinedine Zidane.”

I really wanted more. In a Google search, I found a story at that ran in April (two months ago). It explained:

Leibovitz photographed the three great sportsmen, who have all donned the legendary number 10 shirt, in Cafe Maravillas bar in Madrid, indulging in a tongue-in-cheek game of table football. The image captures an atmosphere of fun and friendly rivalry, with a tagline that reads “Three great journeys, one historic game“.

The story also quoted the head of communications for Louis Vuitton, Antoine Arnault, who said:

“What true football fan has not dreamt of seeing these three living legends play each other? Louis Vuitton is honoured that they agreed to team up for our Core Values campaign.”

Helpful, but I feel so much more could be said… or not.


Here’s another FIFA World Cup tie-in for Louis Vuitton.  The company created a custom-made, 18-ct-gold travel case designed to hold the FIFA World Cup trophy until it is handed to the winning team in July.  Apparently, the luxury design house has a long history of designing lavish luggage cases. Vuitton crafted the trunk that holds the world’s oldest sporting trophy – the famous silver ewer of the 1851 America’s Cup. (Source: Vogue)

I would love to see this campaign go even further — like offering prints suitable for framing. I’d put one in my office.

I appreciate the close encounter with greatness that Louis Vuitton gave me with their “Journeys” campaign.  It whetted my appetite and left me wanting more.


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