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May 29th 2018
For some, the World Cup is the pinnacle of the sporting calendar, gloriously extending the ups and downs of the football season for one magnificent month. Giving us the greatness of Zidane, the majesty of Maradona and the pure drama of Gazza. For some, it’s an inconvenient sideshow to the real highlight of the summer….Love Island.
But in the world of advertising, sport can be a poisoned chalice. You have some big-name stars, a popular sport and hopefully a narrative to tell, but it can fall down when you try and shoe-horn your product to the front of it. Obviously, depending on the product, this can sometimes feel awkward and clumsy like the Gillette adverts featuring Roger Federer and Tiger Woods at the turn of the century or unintentional genius (step forward Pizza Hut and Gareth Southgate).
But the World Cup is often where some of the best sports adverts are featured and here are some of my favourites.
Carlsberg – Pub Team
“If Carlsberg Did…” – Cue endless possibilities with what comes next this one almost wrote itself. Rounding up some England legends including Bryan Robson, Terry Butcher and Peter Beardsley, put them through the all too familiar pre-match Sunday morning ritual and by doing so, form a rather brilliant pub team.
Nike – Write the Future
A slightly different tone but just as effective. Excellently shot and taking the drama and exhilaration of the World Cup, it cleverly tuned into the emotions that it can bring up and still injected a little humour at the same time.
Adidas – Star Wars Cantina
When you have as many superstars as Adidas had lined up for this campaign, it takes a good deal of superb writing to get it to work. Fear not, because as absurd as remixing the legendary Star Wars Cantina scene with Snoop Dogg, it actually turned out to be awesome.
Nike – Airport
In 1998, the Brazilian national football team were arguably the best team on the planet, but they were unarguably the coolest. There is nothing particularly clever about this advert but there doesn’t need to be. Take some bored Brazilian footballers in the airport and chuck a football in there. Cue brilliance and madness in equal measure.
Got a favourite World Cup Ad? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!