FIFA 18 - Creating A Cultural Phenomenon

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FIFA is one of the biggest game series in the world, but future growth required attracting a more casual gaming audience – whose entertainment is dictated by wanting to connect to their friends, trends and culture. They buy the games their friends and idols talk about most. So to win their interest, FIFA had to be more than a game, it had to be a cultural phenomenon.

FIFA has always appropriated cultural trends, by recreating the latest skills and celebrations in- game. But now it was time to flip this flow of influence on its head. FIFA was big enough to create football culture, not just follow it.

To launch FIFA18, we worked with EA Games to develop a new and innovative skill move for the game – ‘El Tornado’. A seamless dragback, flick, and spinning volley that had never previously been attempted by a professional player.

Our launch film showcased how ideas flow from FIFA into football and culture. Beginning with a player performing the ‘El Tornado’ move in FIFA18 for the first time, they share it online where it spreads around the world, before prompting Cristiano Ronaldo to perform the move at the Bernabéu. Then, a whirlwind of icons give us their take on El Tornado - from Antoine Griezmann, Dele Alli, and NBA superstar James Harden, to Coke designing an El Tornado bottle.

The story then became reality, with Run The Jewels releasing a new bespoke track inspired by the move, art creations by 8Bit and Off Foot spreading on Twitter and 35m+ El Tornado GIFs viewed on GIPHY. Even other game developers got involved, sharing El Tornado content within UFC, Madden and NHL games. 

100m+ views of the film (17m via fan and influencer sharing).
170,000+ mentions of El Tornado in 4 days 20% increase in new players 50,000 trick uploads.
In the UK (our biggest market), FIFA18 became September’s biggest selling game – in only 2 days.


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