ProteinWorld posters hijacked by BBH team to ask "are you World Cup ready?"

In a classic "billboard liberation front" move, a creative team from BBH hijacked the Protein World posters in the NYC subway to celebrate the US women's soccer team instead.

"Are you world cup ready?" asks both the posters and the tumblr-based website created by the creative team Lannie Hartley and Alia Roberts, after a few strategically placed stickers are plastered onto the posters. All sorts of billboards at Union Square subway station were defaced, including hard to reach ones above stairs, and electronic backlit billboards (image below).

The team have this statement (and hashtag, because we can't do things without hashtags these days) on their Tumblr site.

Women have better things to do than be beach body ready – like winning the world cup.
After realizing that the Women’s World Cup is a dramatically under promoted event, we – two twenty-something girls – decided to change that ourselves by taking over Union Square and these over promoted, oppressive ads—and turn the attention away from women’s bodies and back to their abilities.
# TeamUSA WorldCupReady

BBH's official account bragged about the stunt. I wonder what the billboard media company thinks about an advertising agency supporting a team defacing ads.

Really good timing for this stunt, as these posters were defaced and circulated on social media, just before the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday, when the US team beat Japan 5-2. The posters have since been restored. The Protein World billboards caused some controversy when the campaign launched in the UK as the CEO took to social media to reply to those who complained.

The campaign image was spoofed by other brands in the UK, first Carlsberg mimicked it right next to it, then joined in on the fun declaring their beaches "everybody ready".

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JakeWasHere's picture

I'm not sure what this was intended to accomplish, seeing as how the entire US women's soccer team is at least as "beach body ready" as the woman in the picture -- if not MORE so. The message is unclear at best, particularly the intended meaning of the dubious phrase "real women".

Confused's picture

"Support real [..] women.."

So the model in these ads is not real? I thought she was very real and from Australia.

I hope they're not "removing agency" from women they don't like, that would be very against the "values" these defacers pretend to uphold.

Don's picture

"Support real women" sounds like a lazy riff of Dove's old campaign. The women of the US Soccer team are all incredibly fit specimens so are we to take away the message that only women who look this fit are "real"? Or are they only real when they look fit and win the world cup in soccer? That an agency proudly stands behind some cheap vandalism is a little strange to me as well, is this a deal made between the team and Protein World? Or did they pay the media company for having to replace the posters?

kidsleepy's picture

I think it's a very sad world we live in when women are thin-shaming and beauty-shaming other women. This tactic should not be celebrated.

Also BBH look like right assholes for tweeting about it. Especially considering they're behind some of the most nauseatingly sexist AXE/LYNX ads. Like this one where a guy controls women like puppets.

I Support Jaiyah Saelua's picture

I find this to be transphobic. By saying "support real American women" during the world cup, they're saying that Jaiyah Saelua who plays for American Samoa's mens World Cup team is not a real woman. So this hijacked ad is transphobic, not empowering. It's depressing when feminist so called allies don't see how much they contribute to spreading the hate that gets trans women killed.

David Felton's picture

You're reading more into this than the Protein World protesters, and that's a weird accomplishment let me be the first to tell you.