Nationwide Activates England Football Partnership & UEFA Euro 2022 Via ‘Respect Starts Small’ Campaign

Nationwide The FA respect Starts Small 1

Leveraging its official partnership with The Football Association (The FA) and making the most of spiking women’s soccer interest around UEFA Euro 2022 and support for Lionesses, Nationwide Building Society rolled out a summer spot starring a young 11-year-old girl to demonstrate that drives home a message about the importance of mutual respect in football.


The campaign, created in harness with agency VCCP London with media handled by Wavemaker, spans television and social media and activates Nationwide’s recent three-year partnership with The Football Association (The FA) linked to England Football’s grassroots ‘Respect’ programme.


Led by a hero commercial, ‘Respect Starts Small’ showcases how important it is to champion respect in the early years of childhood and the campaign seeks to remind parents of the powerful impact of positive support from the sidelines.


The 60-second ad stars a young footballer called Aysia, a talented young female player, who herself provides the spot’s voiceover. She discusses the emotions – both positive and negative – she experiences when playing football and how they are often influenced by those closest to her (including family and friends). It outlines the motivations she has when she plays and how she tries to overcome doubts on the pitch and the words she has been inspired by from the adults who have boosted her confidence and helped her game. The creative cuts between different games played in varying types of conditions and weather and sees Aysia wear different kits to create the feeling of the passage of time.


Aysia acts as a representative of all young girls who have a love and passion for the game and the spot includes the copy line: “‘If we believe in them, they’ll believe in themselves.”


Debuting on UK television and on the financial brand’s own Twitter feed on 19 July, the campaign also reinforces Nationwide’s core ‘mutual respect’ brand value and seeks to communicate that the building society ‘cares deeply about the needs of its 15 million members and their children’.


It also seeks to drive viewers online to find out how the brand is working with The FA to support U18s, families and coaches in grassroots teams, to make sure every player is respected at



The campaign was developed following a Nationwide survey which discovered that that 71% of the UK population feels that levels of respect in society have declined in recent years and sees Nationwide commit itself to working with its partner organisations, such as The Football Association, to create a more caring and mutually respectful society across all walks of life.


As well as the hero TVC, Nationwide is also rolling out a supporting Twitter strand of the campaign to address the unacceptably shocking amount of online hate that so many women in football receive. The building society is championing squads on its social channel and asked young women from local amateur football clubs and primary school teams to write letters addressed to adults and football fans with their advice on how to tackle hate.







“We want to help create a society that’s built on mutual respect and so wanted to play our part by promoting this message in a meaningful way. Nationwide Building Society was founded on a clear social purpose and our commitment to supporting our members and the society we live in remains today,” explained Nationwide Building Society Marketing Director Mark Brayton. “Thanks to our partnership with The FA, we’re encouraging positive behaviours and sharing our perspective that ‘Respect Starts Small.’ Thanks to VCCP for handling our new campaign with creativity, care, and attention.”


VCCP Creative Director Kimberley Gill added: “It’s been such a pleasure to work on this campaign that truly champions supportive, nurturing environments for children and young people involved in sport. Both ourselves and Nationwide have been inspired by Aysia’s own experience, which is a similar tale to many children across the UK. Mutual respect, when encouraged from the very beginning, truly has the power to change young people’s day to day life, and it’s important that we adults don’t forget the impact of our words too.”


Genna Trentham, Client Managing Director at Wavemaker, added: “Despite football being a source of togetherness for many of us, the reality is that more needs to be done to tackle the disrespectful behaviour that surrounds it. Much of it takes place online, and so the use of Twitter to deliver children’s advice to a core audience of football fans during 17 Euros games is an incredibly important part of the plan. As well as this, the TV element of the campaign will launch across three of the biggest shows on commercial TV that night – Bake Off: The Professionals, Love Island and Who Wants to be a Millionaire – meaning that it is set to reach the vast majority of TV viewers that evening. We are proud to have worked on this truly powerful campaign, which rightfully promotes respect from the beginning.”


The campaign was created by a team at VCCP London which included Creative Director Kimberly Gill, Creatives Liv Amato-Pace and Katharine Gritten, TV Producer Izzie Haak, Twitter Producer Jennifer Parkes, Managing Director Hannah Fitz-Gerald, Planning Director Charlie Kirkbride, Account Directors Izi Hutchinson and Ben Mallins and Account Manager Jasmine Khaliq.


The production company was Hunky Dory with Director Sam Huntley, Executive Producer Nick Papworth, plus Editor Toby Conway-Hughes of Marshall Street Editors, Colourist Jason Wallis of Electric Theatre Collective and Sound Engineer Jack Hallett of Factory Sound.


The media agency was Wavemaker where the team was led by Media Strategy Lead Cameron Davies.





This is a thought provoking film that concludes with the powerful message that neatly links the brand and its support for The FA programme to England’s Lionesses and Euro 2022.






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