Sergio Ramos Tells the Stories Behind His Tattoos for Budweiser

Deutsch paints a vivid picture

Soccer megastar Sergio Ramos sheds his many tattoos in Deutsch's first work for Budweiser's global football account.

But fans of the Real Madrid and Spanish national team captain needn't fret. His impressive skin illustrations quickly return, helping Ramos tell the story of his rise to greatness. 

Themed "Be a King" and focused on digital, the campaign debuted with an teaser post on Instagram showing a shirtless Ramos, sans body art:


👀 #CleanSheet #ad

A post shared by Sergio Ramos (@sergioramos) on

A minute-long clip restores his vivid tattoos, one by one, as legendary sportscasters Peter Drury, Arlo White and Gary Bloom describe his exploits on the pitch:

Ramos delves into the meaning of his tats in a series of animated clips. First, he explains the crown emblazoned across his right triceps: "I was not born into royalty. And I was not born on the football pitch. I was born on the streets of Camas, on the outskirts of Seville, dreaming of greatness. A greatness I chased relentlessly until I made it come true."


👑 #BeAKing

A post shared by Budweiser Football (@budfootball) on

"The crown reminds me of my journey," he concludes, "and that I am the captain of my destiny."

As for the jungle cat that roars from his back, in this next clip, Ramos says, "All my life I have always attacked the field. Hungry, fierce and courageous … For that is the way of the lion. Always be on the hunt for more."


🦁 #BeAKing

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The rose across his left hand symbolizes Ramos' love for his family. "Every game I play with passion," he says, "For everything I do on the pitch is for them."


🌹 #BeAKing

A post shared by Budweiser Football (@budfootball) on

Those cartoon films seem in step with the notion of skin illustrations. Their simple, evocative style captures the passion soccer devotees feel for the sport. Portraying Ramos as a kind of superhero also makes sense, reflecting how great players are viewed by their adoring fans.

The campaign launched as he became Spain's most capped player of all time, marking his 168th appearance in international matches. For folks who can't get enough of those natty tats, special-edition Bud bottles depicting his body art are available, and these unlock exclusive content.

"Tattoo culture is a global phenomenon, and we loved the idea that we could tell stories of achievement through ink," says Deutsch executive creative director James Cowie. "That's how we landed on Sergio Ramos. Most of Sergio's tattoos correspond directly to stories that explain his achievements. So then, when we thought about his journey as a player, we loved the idea of revisiting him at the beginning of his career, without any tattoos, and re-inking them, one by one, as a way of reliving his achievements on the pitch."  

He adds: "Budweiser is making a big push into football precisely because of its global appeal. 'Be a King' as a brand platform is about creating stories of ambition to inspire young people all across the globe. It's not so much about celebrating footballers on the pitch so much as celebrating who they are off the pitch and the ambition that drives them. Because that's something that young ambitious people can relate to the world over."

In terms of production hurdles, "one of the big challenges was faithfully recreating his tattoos in CGI," Cowie says. "We had to create a very detailed digital map of his body, and that meant Sergio had to stand still for us in a camera rig for about 30 minutes under the blazing Madrid sun until the guys at The Mill had everything they needed to 're-ink' his body perfectly." 

"Budweiser is proud to celebrate the journey of Sergio Ramos as a king of global football and one of the greatest players of his generation," says Budweiser Global vice president Steve Arkley. "We're excited to spotlight his story in such a unique way for football fans worldwide with the ambition of inspiring them to step up and pursue their greatness." 

One question remains. Does this king have tats? Do we even want to know?


AB InBev, Budweiser:
VP Global Brands, (Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois, Michelob Ultra), Richard Oppy
VP Global Marketing, Budweiser: Steve Arkley
Global Communications Director, Budweiser: Andrew Oosterhuis
Global Marketing Director, Budweiser: Talita Andrade

Deutsch New York
Chief Creative Officer: Dan Kelleher
Executive Creative Director: James Cowie
Creative Director: Heather English
Creative Director: Marques Gartrell
Sr. Art Director: Jeffrey Rozman
Sr. Copywriter: Chris Wernikowski

Content Production:
Director of Integrated Production: Joe Calabrese
Sr. Producer: Andrea Segura
Associate Producer: Halley Mangano

Account Planning:
Chief Strategy Officer: Matt Baker
Planning Director: Andrew Quay
Strategy Director: Juliette Leavey

Account Management:
Group Account Director: Andrew Arnot
Account Director: Madalyn McLane
Account Executive: Hannah Duchardt

Project Management:
Project Manager: Ashley Heisner

Business Affairs:
Director of Integrated Business Affairs: Maria Taris
Group Director, Integrated Business Affairs: Stacy Schwartz
Sr. Business Manager: Nikki Balekjian

Director of Digital: Daniel Murphy
Director of Technology & Innovation: Husani Oakley

Production Company: MJZ
Director: Nicolai Fuglsig
President: David Zander
Director of Photography: Mátyás Erdély
Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson
Producer: Adriana Cebada Mora
Production Supervisor: Courtney Nolen

Foreign Service Company: Smile
Executive Producer: Scott Horan
Producer: Joan Garcia

Editorial: Lost Planet
Editor: Saar Klein
Sr. Assistant: Steven San Miguel
Executive Producer: Krystn Wagenberg
Sr. Producer: Casey Cayko

Social Editorial: Steelhead
Assistant Editor: Mike Gorczyca
Executive Producer: Jeff Morgan
Post Producer: Zack Herpy

Telecine: The Mill
 Colourist: Michael Rossiter

Post Production, Visual Effects (Global): The Mill
Executive Producer: Heath Raymond
Senior Producer: Anna Borysewicz
Production Coordinator: Roberto Herrera
Shoot Supervisor: Ruben Vandebroek
Art Director: Chet Hirsch
2D Lead Artist: Keith Sullivan
3D Lead Artist: Ruben Vandebroek
2D Artist: Ting Jung-Hsu, Alexis Jo, Anton Anderson
Design: Vivian Kim, York Capistrano, Steven Guas, David Nelson, Jennifer Czyborra

Post Production, Visual Effects (China): The Mill
Executive Producer: Heath Raymond
Senior Producer: Anna Borysewicz
Production Coordinator: Roberto Herrera
Creative Director: Mario Stipinovich
Design: Chet Hirsch, Vivian Kim, David Kenyon, Marcelo Meneses, Conrad McLeod
Shoot Supervisor: Ruben Vandebroek
2D Lead Artist: Krissy Nordella
3D Lead Artist: Ruben Vandebroek
2D Artist: Rosi Ruiz
Colourist: Michael Rossiter

Licensed Music Tracks: “Make Way for the King” - Ohana Bam

Audio Post: Barking Owl
Music Re-arrangement: Barking Owl
Sound Designer: Morgan Johnson
Mixer: AJ Murillo
Creative Director: Kelly Bayett
Producer: Ashley Benton

Animation: Lobo
Director: Mateus de Paula Santos and Thiago Martins
Concept: Thiago Martins, Fe Heynen, Bruno Tedesco, Rafael Louzada, Doug Lira, Lua Costa

Storyboard: Thiago Martins, Fe Heynen
Animation Director: Bruno Tedesco, Thiago Martins
Animation: Thiago Martins, Bruno Tedesco, Breno Licursi, Cesar Maciel, Victor de Oliveira
Clean Up: Thiago Martins, Bruno Tedesco, Michel Venus, Rafael Lozada
Composition: Julio Saez Moreno, Cauê Mendes
Producer: Cristiane N Santos, Pablo Zurita, Su Constantine
Post Production Coordinator: Rosangela Gomes
Post Production Assistant: Tainá Soares
Head of Production: Clara Morelli

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