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Run like Your Game Depends on It with Under Armour and Trent Alexander-Arnold



Capturing intensity with 72andSunny's Alex Bower and Antfood's Rory White

Run like Your Game Depends on It with Under Armour and Trent Alexander-Arnold

Earlier this year, Antfood Amsterdam teamed up with Under Armour, 72andSunny and Iconoclast for the Run Like Your Game Depends on It campaign - a high-intensity live-action spot featuring Liverpool and England footballer Trent Alexander-Arnold. We spoke to Alex Bower, senior copywriter at 72andSunny and Rory White, composer and sound designer at Antfood about conveying intensity through picture and sound.

Q> ​What was the core concept for this campaign?

Alex> This project was all about intensity. When you’re on the football pitch, playing in the heat of a competitive game, you are at your most intense. That’s why top players like Trent Alexander-Arnold train in sharp, intense drills of interval training. That’s the kind of performance we wanted to bring to life – we wanted the film to depict how it really feels to train at this intensity.

Q> Intensity is an abstract concept - how did you want to translate it visually?

Alex> The visual ideas all feed into the feeling of intensity. As Trent becomes increasingly tired, we get closer and closer to him and it builds intensity for the viewer. It feels visceral and real. In the brief moments he gets to catch his breath before the next run, there’s a feeling of tiredness. All of this is set against bold, intense subtitles, explaining the virtues of training in this way. It’s designed to challenge the viewer, and in doing so, I hope we have made something that doesn’t look or feel like anything else.

Run Like Your Game Depends On It

Q> How did you manage to achieve this?

Alex> By working together with a great team! The director, Maik Schuster, and Director of Photography, Harry Wheeler, did a great job of capturing the intensity we needed. Production design built some ingenious rigs to get us unique camera angles that immersed us in the intensity. The title designer, James Ronkko from Altabrea, made bespoke titles that are real and raw, demanding our attention. Our editor, Nayim Saati, made sense of all that intensity in a way that was just the right amount of overwhelming. And I have to say, Trent put in a real shift to help us get the performance we needed. He ran hard all day and gave us the genuine emotions we needed to make this feel convincing.

Q> Did these visual goals also help to shape the sonic brief?

Alex> For music and sound design, we had pretty much exactly the same goals. We tasked the team at Antfood to give us something that felt as intense as what Trent was doing, to match his tempo and intensity, and to build peaks and troughs in those moments to match the pace of his workout. In terms of instrumentation, it needed to feel raw and powerful but it also needed the space to highlight different levels of tiredness and energy. And we feel we definitely got there.

Trent Alexander-Arnold in Run Like Your Game Depends On It
Trent Alexander Arnold in Run Like Your Game Depends On It

Q> How did Antfood translate the concept of intensity into music & sound design?

Rory> The intensity achieved in the filmmaking was already powerful. It’s a great starting point - to feel the force of a film in silence. Our role as a team of composers and sound designers was to recognize nuance, emotion & cadence in the visual storytelling & try to expand the experience of it.

We leveraged the duality of rhythm & pitch, turning polyrhythmic speed ramps into tones and chords - an audio motif that translated the zoetrope film camera effect and ended up being an idea that shaped the creative direction & structure of the music.

Focussing on acceleration allowed us to create tension. This rising intensity sustains us through the almost frenetic text. Tension keeps us reading, faster & faster & faster.

Intensity also comes through impact, and when you’re accelerating chaos, simply stopping heavy-footed hits home. It also seemed important to create a visceral, first-person perspective, intensifying bodily experience. Hopefully, we achieved this by recording bespoke original foley, after one too many laps circling the studio floor.

Q> What were the main challenges?

Rory> It was a pleasure to work with the folks at 72andSunny on this one. We had synergy from the first call, which arose out of our shared joy & experiences of rave culture. They wanted us to push the boundaries of sound and be brutal with no limits… my eyes lit up.

When a brief & team are so inspired, it makes the project feel more personal. The challenge is to give as much of yourself as you can while remaining present and reactive to the client's needs.


Agency / Creative
Music / Sound
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Genres: People, Music & Sound Design

Categories: Sports and Leisure, Gyms

Antfood, Tue, 06 Sep 2022 14:39:00 GMT