World Cup Special Edition – the best ads!


Cannes who? Today, June 12, the world only cares about once thing. the 2014 World Cup finally kicks off, after a long 4 year wait.

It’s a truly global celebration, and marketers/agencies have hopped on the bandwagon, producing work that runs the full range: from global to local, from inspired to clichéd, from amazing to decidedly mediocre.

In commemoration of this momentous event, I’ll share with you below the best World Cup themed ads that I’ve come across this year, along with my choice for “best ever”. Enjoy. And…vamos Argentina carajo!

1. Beats by Dre – “The Game Before the Game”: Wonderful storytelling, taking a different angle (pre-game rituals), taking its time, and sidestepping the clichés to get to real emotion.

2. GoPro – “Brasil Futebol – for the Love”: So many brands tried and failed to capture the essence of Brazil’s relationship with football. GoPro nails it, while expertly selling the product benefit. Maybe it’s the proximity of the shooting, or the inspiration of the director, or maybe they just got lucky. But I loved this one.

3. Quilmes – “Vamos Carajo!”: This one, through its repeated “c’mon dammit!” refrain, best captures the complex set of emotions of the soccer fan when the ball starts rolling. Four years of anticipation, hopes, fears, joys and doubts. And when the referee blows the whistle, what do 40 million Argentines say? Vamos carajo. Nailed it!

4. Nike – “The Last Game”: The main Nike effort was a disaster, completely missing the mark. But they redeemed themselves with this whimsical, “The Incredibles”-inspired mini-movie. Unbelievable production quality keeps you riveted and totally wins you over.

5. Movistar – “Among the People”: This one is in Spanish, but it’s easy to follow. I loved the unique angle they took. Disguised superstars among the regular people, not for a prank, not for a big reveal, but simply to feel the closeness to the millions that will be cheering for them in the next month. Very different, and very effective.

6. McDonald’s – “Gol!”: This one I thought did the very best job at capturing the childlike joy of playing with a ball. Playful, lighthearted, and even surprising at times, it brings a smile to the face and doesn’t overplay its emotional hand.

7. Banco de Chile – “Chilean Miners”: (turn on the captions for English subtitles) full-fledged nationalistic appeal to overcome tough odds, and damn if it doesn’t give me goosebumps. This is the type of borderline overplay that works gangbusters (if done well – and this can be hard) in local market ads.

My favorite World Cup ad ever? Below, by TyC Sports (a sports channel in Argentina) in advance of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. I still get chills every time I see this – a virtuoso combination of insight,relevance, storytelling, dramatic build, emotional appeal, music, and iconic imagery. Unforgettable. If only Argentina’s teams did as well as their advertising:)

Which one is your favorite? Which ones have I missed (I’m sure there are many.) Let me know in the comments section. Enjoy!


4 thoughts on “World Cup Special Edition – the best ads!

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