Clive Brunskill is a Getty Images Sports Photographer who has been shooting campaigns for Pepsi since 1997. He talks through shooting their latest campaign with some of the world’s biggest sports stars.

I have worked with Pepsi since their very first Football campaign in 1997 which was for the France ’98 World Cup and every year since with a football campaign of some sort.

From France ’98, Japan & Korea 2002, Germany 2006, South Africa 2010 to the current World Cup in Brazil 2014, there’s been some really interesting shoots incorporating all sorts of themes like westerns, space, surfing, body art and even sumo! Every fourth year is of course the World Cup campaign. We shoot one year before the actual event, giving Pepsi time to get the imagery to market for billboards, social media, point of sale, PR and last but not least the packaging.

We shot this print and POS campaign over a number of weeks in August and December 2013 in places such as London, Manchester, Barcelona and Madrid with some of the World’s greatest players. The six core players for the global campaign consist of Leo Messi , Sergio Ramos, David Luiz, Sergio Aguero, Jack Wilshere and Robin Van Persie. Although Ramos, Van Persie and Wilshere were new to the campaign the guys were great to shoot and all got the concept very quickly. We shot action for billboard and POS and portraits for cans bottles and packaging.

A group shot was taken all individually and then put together in post production.

The funniest player was David Luiz, he came into the make up area, saw I was bald and proceeded to lend me some hair! Nobody would believe this so I had our behind the scenes photographer take a still as proof! After the shoot, David proceeded to hand every single person involved with the shoot a signed Chelsea shirt which was incredibly generous of him. I have never seen a player do this before for everyone!

Aguero had amazing energy in the studio and was a lot of fun to shoot. I think this shows in the portraits and action we took.

Robin Van Persie came to the studio with a sore foot and when that’s the case normally players will not want to shoot the action side of things but Robin being totally professional proceeded to give us much more than we needed.

Ramos was shot in Madrid and when he arrived, he asked if he could put his iPhone on our sound system. I thought it would be new stuff maybe rap or hip hop, the usual footballer music, but we all got a real surprise when he turned on Flamenco. Turns out he comes from an area in Spain famous for it! I must admit it was kinda good and certainly different to what we normally play! He was a great guy, very easy to work with and he gave 110% effort during the shoot.


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Jack Wilshere came to the shoot after a late night European match for Arsenal in Turkey so was very tired but he gave me some great pictures and didn’t even mind the American art director telling him how he should kick the ball!

And on to a player I have shot for at least the last seven to eight years, ever since he signed with Pepsi. He’s probably the greatest player ever and one I would pay to watch every time. Leo Messi. Leo is very quiet and polite and likes to get the shoot done quickly and with the minimum of fuss. The problem was, we had a huge amount of work to get through on the day of our Barcelona shoot. As well as Pepsi, we had to shoot another print campaign for Lays crisps for which Leo is also committed to.

We firstly shot the Pepsi campaign, then we started the big task of shooting what seemed like a hundred bags of Lays – all different sizes styles and shapes for the many global markets they are sold in. Leo wanted to get the job done quickly and as we had a lot of bags to get through, I devised a system where we stuck the bag to a studio C stand so Leo had the correct position for the art director every time. This saved an immense amount of time and also Leo wasn’t crushing the bag as he just had to place his hand lightly under. Then it was my 1,2,3 system which is, 1 = ‘smile with bag’, 2= ‘smile and hold the Lays crisp up,’ and 3= ‘smile and take the crisp to his mouth like he was about to eat it.’ I shot two frames of each, totalling 6 frames whilst shouting “1,2,3!!!” Hey presto that bag was done! Now for the next one as the assistant sticks it to the C stand. I think we shot something like 26 different shaped branded bags! Not an easy task as you have to keep the sports star occupied and not let his mind stray too much from the task ahead.

I was delighted with the results, they’ve started to appear on Pepsi bottles all over the world, which always gives you a great buzz.

About Clive Brunskill