The FIFA World Cup is just around the corner, and there is no shortage of marketing ploys to remind us of this. Read on as we break down some of the latest commercial spots that have us excited for June 12.
1. Nike, “Winner Stays”
Of all the ads to get us pumped up for the World Cup, this four-minute Nike spot is the latest. Featuring stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Gerard Piqué, Gonzalo Higuaín, Mario Götze, Eden Hazard, Thiago Silva, Andrea Pirlo, David Luiz, Andrés Iniesta, Thibaut Courtois, Tim Howard, and even the Hulk, it’s not to be missed. Though the ad never actually mentions the World Cup — could it be because rival Adidas is the official sponsor? — the aim of the commercial is clear.
2. ESPN, “First Date”
When World Cup coverage officially begins on ESPN on June 12, British announcer and commentator Ian Darke will be behind the microphone. This roughly three-minute spot shows Darke warming up for these duties by calling something else: a first date between a man and a woman who met online. The date gets off to a rough start and is slightly painful to watch at times, but Darke’s commentary lifts it from awkward to amusing. Peppered with amazing one-liners, including “Jim’s starting to show a few silky skills now,” and “Desperation time now – it might take a miracle!” Darke is clearly an adept commentator with comedic crossover.
3. DirecTV Latin America, “Nothing Else Matters”
In this cinematographic commercial, writer and filmmaker Oliver Stone is on the sidelines in his director’s chair, as if what he’s watching is one of his movies being filmed. Stone, one of Hollywood’s most celebrated filmmakers, is the perfect accompaniment to the cinematic portrayal of the game. At one point, he stops the “production” to ask for more intensity from the players and fans alike: He wants more action, more passion, more tension and even more stars. Real-life soccer stars David Luiz, Kun Aguero, and Radamel Falcao make cameos, successfully appealing to the ad’s target market: Latin America. DirecTV Latin America will broadcast all of the World Cup games live and in HD for subscribers in the region.
4. Adidas, “Brazuca”
Brazuca, the match ball of the 2014 World Cup, is introduced in this roughly two-minute clip, which shows the ball used in a variety of settings and angles. Hilariously enough, special efforts are made to even show things from the brazuca’s point of view — a marketing ploy that continues to this day, as brazuca even has its own Twitter account. Adidas, the official sponsor of the World Cup, also uses the video to popularize its “All in or Nothing” campaign. More than 1 million Brazilian fans voted to name the ball brazuca, which “is used by Brazilians to describe national pride in the Brazilian way of life. Mirroring their approach to football, it symbolises emotion, pride and goodwill to all.”
5. Pepsi, “Now Is What You Make It”
This Pepsi ad does things a little differently from other World Cup commercials out there — and that’s a good thing. Set in a Rio de Janiero favela, the ad follows a boy named Stony as he makes music and runs into some of the game’s biggest stars: think the Netherlands’ Robin van Persie, Spain’s Sergio Ramos, and England’s Jack Wilshire. The commercial also stands out because of its interactive features: Viewers can click to “dive deeper into Stony’s world” by unlocking additional features. Singer Janelle Monae makes a cameo, and the commercial manages to be uplifting without being silly.