Ever seen this French television commercial from the telecommunications company Orange promoting the magnificent French men’s national football team? It shows Gliezmann, Mbappe and Girout in their finest form. Or does it? Perhaps it challenges our perceptions about the supposed performance gap between elite male soccer players and their elite female equivalents. Take a look at the ad. From start to finish. It’s one of the best sporting ads that I think I have ever seen. Perhaps one of the best ads, period!
How many times have we been told by on-line “football lovers” that the woman’s game is slower, less skillful and boring? That it’s not a product that they would bother watching. I wonder if this commercial would change their perceptions. Perhaps not. Prejudices run deep.
This ad was borrowed from an article by Carlos Gomez Gonzalez (University of Zurich) and Cornel Nesseler (University of Stavanger) first published in the Conversation where they posed the question “Would people still call a woman’s soccer match boring if they didn’t know the players’ genders.” Their research indicates that when gender of participants is known, observers tend to rate male performance more highly, but perceptions of performance differences evaporate when observers do not know whether they are watching women or men.
Interesting findings… and great ad!