The Royal Belgian Football Association (RBFA) is more serious than ever about mobilising the entire country for our Belgian Red Devils. With the European Championship this summer, the Nations League in October, and the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, everyone realises that this golden generation has the chance to make history. A striking campaign in the streets and on the new RBFA app starts today. National manager Roberto Martinez, together with Raymond Goethals and Guy Thys, play the leading roles. “From Alaska to Zimbabwe, everyone must know what’s at stake. Therefore, we call on all supporters to light it up this year. Not only in our entire nation, but far beyond our borders. 2021 is #DEVILTIME,” says Roberto Martinez, national manager of the Belgian Red Devils.
On Wednesday morning, the Grand Place in Brussels woke up to the whitewashed letters #DEVILTIME. It is no coincidence that this location is the setting for the launch of the Football Association’s new campaign. With their third place at the 2018 World Cup, the Belgian Red Devils gave the youngest generation of supporters a taste of joy at the Brussels Town Hall, just as the generation of 1986 gave their parents and grandparents. But those football celebrations left everyone wanting more. And more is within reach according to the Football Association… provided that the whole nation rallies behind the Belgian Red Devils in the run-up to the upcoming European Championship. That’s why, today, after an intense and difficult year due to the pandemic, the RBFA, together with Roberto Martinez, is launching a campaign to unite the whole country to support and motivate the Belgian Red Devils in 2021.
“On the eve of the new European Championship campaign, we want to reflect on the beautiful moments that the current generation and others have given us over the past 125 years. But at the same time, we would like to call on supporters to join us in motivating this generation to do better and make history. As they always say, It’s time to play harder, time to cheer louder, time to dream bigger. Belgium, from now on, it’s #DEVILTIME.”
Roberto Martinez, Belgian Red Devils national manager
Reuniting players and fans
No one will be able to escape #DEVILTIME in the coming weeks and months. The Football Association wants the posters on the streets, on television, and online via social media and the RBFA app, to get supporters enthusiastic around the clock and get them behind our national team as one nation. The RBFA has already got some fiery surprises, among other things, in store for the upcoming opponents of the Belgian Red Devils. Our own fans will also have to do their bit.
“Our players were asking for a campaign to reconnect with the fans. They said they really missed the fans after such a strange football year due to the pandemic. With our #DEVILTIME campaign, we’re ready to get our supporters behind our Belgian Red Devils again and blow the socks off our opponents and their supporters as one team.”
Manu Leroy, Marketing & Communications Director KBVB
Martinez and the deepfake duo
To launch #DEVILTIME, a unique video will be shown across the country from today onwards, starring Roberto Martinez and two managers who, like the current national manager, have left their mark on Belgian football history. Raymond Goethals and Guy Thys were brought to life with the help of deepfake specialist Chris Umé. They will give every football fan their first goosebumps-inducing moment at the start of a special football year 2021. But that’s not all. The Football Association will also draw the attention of supporters using radio, newspapers, and magazines, but the newly launched RBFA app, in particular, will play a leading role in bringing the Belgian Red Devils team closer to the fans once again.
“The RBFA app will allow our fans to watch exclusive content and follow the Belgian Red Devils closely. For example, not only will the television commercial featuring Roberto Martinez be available to watch via our app, but the making-of video of the deepfake TV spot that brings our - former managers Raymond Goethals and Guy Thys to life will also be available. As a fan, you’ll also find out how we’re going to let the whole world know that 2021 is #DEVILTIME. That is why we’re already sending out a heartfelt call to action today to use the app on your smartphone to light the #DEVILTIME fuse in the coming weeks and months.”
Manu Leroy, RBFA
The launch of the #DEVILTIME campaign is the starting shot of a major campaign that the RBFA is preparing in the run-up to the European Championship. In the coming weeks, there will be, among other things, a brand new European Championship song, actions planned around the farewell matches of the Belgian Red Devils, with even more initiatives colouring the entire country red. For those who want to follow everything from the front row, get the latest content first via the brand new RBFA app. The unique video can be found there as well as on www.rbfa.be/en/deviltime.
About the TV spot
The deepfake TV spot is the work of the creative agency De Vloer.
Digital artist Chris Umé, a world leader in deepfake technology, developed the video.
Actor Ivan Pecknik plays Guy Thys. Actor Jan Van Hecke takes on the role of Raymond Goethals.