The ad is a two minute compilation of men’s soccer highlights; something you would see on ESPN or any other local sports network. It isn’t until the end that the video editing is dropped to reveal that all of the jaw dropping plays and goals were actually completed by female athletes. The video was created in an effort to dismiss narratives that women’s sports games aren’t interesting. The ad was created by the French telecom company Orange.
“At Orange, when we support les Bleus, we support les Bleues,” the advertisement reads, referring to the widely used nicknames for both the French men’s and women’s national teams.
The ad comes just before the Women’s World Cup is set to begin across New Zealand and Australia. “For the majority of soccer fans (and that’s the problem), the general consensus is that ‘men’s soccer is better, faster, more interesting than women’s.’ We also know that soccer videos have a great success online,” an Orange spokesperson told CNN over email. For their campaign, “it was essential that during the first half of the video, viewers would think they were enjoying male actions and the only way to make believe that was to… reshape women into men!”
Despite being one of the biggest sporting events, the women’s soccer teams are paid twenty-five cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. Even more in 2019 the US women’s soccer team won the World Cup yet only received eight cents per dollar earned by their counterparts who didn’t qualify for the 2018 men’s World Cup.
The men’s US team has never won a World Cup before, nor even been in the final match for one.
The French ad just reminds so many of what was already known; women’s sports are consistently underestimated and underappreciated. Hopefully the FIFA association can work towards more equal pay between the two teams.