DZ Directs Gillette’s Powerful New Campaign Starring Footballer Raheem Sterling

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Gillette has launched a powerful new campaign that champions the true spirit of young men in football. Directed by Great Guns’ DZ [formerly Daisy Zhou], the film features Premier League footballer Raheem Sterling and showcases a number of cinematic vignettes that explore the evolving relationship between masculinity and sport.

Creatively devised by Saatchi & Saatchi, the spot begins with Sterling shaving in front of the mirror. Addressing viewers, he says ‘if someone asks you what you’re made of, don’t just tell them – show them.’ The film then cuts between different scenes, showcasing the ways in football plays a role in the lives of young men. Through a voiceover, Sterling tells the audience that you don’t have to raise your fists to beat your enemies – challenging the role toxic masculinity plays in sport – as we see a younger player that has just been fouled break up a fight on the pitch amongst other players. The voiceover then encourages players to never stop believing and do more than is expected, as we see a group huddle and one player reaching out to another after a match.

The film then returns to Sterling, who comes across a bunch of young kids having a kickabout as he notes that ‘where you come from is as important as where you end up’, we see him joining in. We then cut to a football match as Sterling adds ‘whatever differences, whatever rivalry, stand shoulder to shoulder against all forms of prejudice, giving it no place to grow’ – particularly prevalent as Sterling himself has been the subject of racist abuse and frequently addresses the issue of prejudice in sport. The film finishes with an image of Sterling hand in hand with a young mascot before walking out onto the pitch, telling viewers ‘when you show the best of yourself, you don’t just play the game, you change it.’

DZ, who acted as both director and DoP on the spot, established a range of cinematic portrait shots to leave viewers with the impression of each characters’ energy in the film. She worked to ensure each vignette would be felt in the characters’ expression, through the way they carry themselves, and the way they communicate the message of the film in one look. She also worked to highlight qualities she felt aren’t shown enough in men – ones that are quieter and harder to notice.

Commenting on her approach to the film, DZ notes: “I offered what I admired and am inspired by in men I knew. Perhaps it’s because I am a woman, I notice these traits more – traits that are less about actin and being “alpha” and more about confidence, grace, and the talent of drowning out the noise and negativity. There is a nuance to these characters and Raheem that I as a woman really appreciate and can relate to – the act of trying, listening, and caring.”

She adds: “It’s a special opportunity to be part of an ongoing conversation of what masculinity means, and what it can represent in a changing culture. Following on from the previous campaign, I wanted to focus specifically on the power of showing the best of yourself in a difficult scenario – and the effect this power can have on people, especially the younger generation. I was very inspired by Raheem’s story and wanted to capture his spirit and energy in the film. He has a very natural sense of grace and optimism that, despite the difficulties he’s faced, is more powerful and more unstoppable than anything.”

The powerful film is the first part of Gillette’s new campaign, which will be followed by a second spot also helmed by DZ. Following the story of another internationally renowned footballer, part two will focus on the work, dedication, and belief of a role model – offering a different picture of what they can inspire.

Great Guns is an award-winning content and music video production hub, with a reputation for creativity and excellence. The carefully-selected roster includes international feature and TV directors, commercial directors, short film and music video directors and brilliant emerging talent. One of their key skill sets is to match talent to project, in any budget range.

Working across its global network, Great Guns produces high quality creative work for commercials, feature films, music videos, tv, digital, events, installations, photography, documentaries and branded content.

Great Guns continues to perform consistently well in international awards – garnering multiple awards including D&AD, One Show, Webbys, Berlin MVAs, Creative Circle, Shots, Cannes Lions, Cristal Kinsale, and The LIA Awards. It has also been awarded Epica Production Company of the Year and LIA Europe Production Company of the Year.



Client: Gillette
Brand Manager: Jared Regan
Assistant Brand Manager: Cecile Matias Nesif

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
ECD: Charlie Martin
Art Director: Claudio Pasqualetti
Copywriter: Stephen Beverley
Executive Producer: Jenni Humphrey
Assistant Producer: Lilly Alter
Creative Services Director: Debbie Burke
Business Lead: Elinor Chambers
Business Director Lead (Sports): James Anderson

PR: Charlie Walters
Sterling Commercial Manager: Philip Cooper
Sterling Head of Content: Shane O’Brien
Sterling PR Lead: Charles Ceesay
Sterling BTS Photographer: Chris
Social Digital Agency Producer: Tim Philips
Social Digital Assistant: Christopher Bethell
Social Digital Assistant: Phil Horton

Print Producer: Cat Long
Photographer: Shamil Tanner

Production Company: Great Guns
Director: Daisy Zhou c/o Great Guns
Executive Producer: Kate Philips c/o Great Guns
Producer: Dale Healy

Service Partner:
Production Manager (MCR): Eileen
Camera Operator:  Peter Wignall
Production Designer: Max Meronti
Costume Designer: Paula McNamara
Makeup & Hair Stylist: Louise Meadows

Edit House: Amuse the Butcher
Editor: James Demetriou

Post House: ENVY