Campaign Spotlight

Campaign Spotlight: Ogilvy Social.Lab and Panenka Football Magazine create poignant tribute to Maradona

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – Ogilvy Social.Lab and Panenka Football Magazine present The Ball of God, a cinematic and touching video tribute to Diego Maradona, set in the place where it all started… a potrero. Which is not an official football pitch, but rather a typical vacant space in a humble part of Buenos Aires where Argentinian kids play rough and streetwise football. A potrero much like one where Maradona first picked up a ball and started playing himself.

The video sees a young fan saying a personal goodbye to a legend. By offering him his very own football, worn and heavily used, now attached to a string of balloons – and sent up to the heavens. With the aim to reach Maradona, and make sure he can still play football,  wherever he is now. 

As Maradona died in such a rush, it’s quite likely he forgot his ball.


This filmic video tribute is made for leading football Magazine Panenka, known for reporting on life through the lens of football, to commemorate the indisputable icon of the game. Recognizing his impact not just on football, but on the zeitgeist of popular culture.

In Maradona’s words: “I tried to be happy playing football and make all of you happy”

Watch The Ball of God

The creative team at Amsterdam’s Ogilvy Social.Lab treated the tribute as a movie, crafting it carefully but using real people and real locations, as all the casting and filming took place in the authentic slum districts of Buenos Aires. Working closely with both the client, Panenka Magazine, and the Spanish production company, BeSweet Films, the creative process, production and editing was completed in a matter of days.

Executive Creative Director, Tolga Büyükdoganay says: “Diego gave us everything in the world that could be done with a football. The least we could do is give him one back to make him happy.”

Maradona’s larger-than-life influence is palpable throughout every part of the campaign, in fact even one half of the creative team, Diego Lauton De Oliviera, was named after the great footballer himself. Further proof of Maradona’s profound effect on popular culture. 

The death of Diego Maradona came as no big surprise, his health was ailing for years now. But nonetheless it was a mighty shock that is still reverberating around the world. The outpouring of grief is testimony to his unique impact on the world’s collective conscience and how he was a footballer not to be treated by ordinary standards. Quite simply, he was bigger than sport.

Always a controversial figure it’s often noted he embodied the best and the worst of football. The same could be said about him as a man. But to a young boy from the rough side of Argentina he is and always will be an immortal legend who took the style of football played in the potreros to the biggest stadiums of the world.

The film was commissioned by Panenka who has built up a strong reputation of tackling football culture through a social, cultural and political lens. Panenka also commissioned last year’s The Strongest Shirts campaign, which repurposed football shirts of leading clubs as operating gowns to help hospitalised children face their toughest match.


Agency: Ogilvy Social.Lab Amsterdam
Creatives: Federico Botella Padilla
Diego Lauton De Oliviera
ECD: Tolga Büyükdoğanay
Agency Producer: Tamara Bogard

Production: BeSweet film + PANENKA
Directors: Matias Saravia & Larissa Cambauva
Producer: Juan San Roman

Partner with adobo Magazine

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button