Advertisers are always quick to jump on a bandwagon. You just need to look to the Superbowl for evidence of that. But the FIFA World Cup is quickly catching up as an event where brands are prepared to spend big dollars in order to get their message to consumers.
Football is, of course, the world game, so any inclusion of that and some of its biggest stars is bound to garner the type of attention advertising executives get excited about. Here’s a look at some of the more interesting commercials doing the rounds as Brazil 2014 fast approaches.
Nike – Winner Stays
With star power like Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Neymar, Andres Iniesta and more, Nike has never had a problem creating memorable football ads. From the Brazil team dribbling its way through the airport for a 1998 Joga Bonito commercial, to 2010’s Write The Future, they’ve always been entertaining.
For 2014, the sportswear giant has taken a slightly different tack. It started with the Winner Stays slots, a clip that brings the real stars back to the park in a high-powered, and often witty effort.
But Nike’s big players will also feature as animated characters throughout the tournament, even those who aren't there like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Franck Ribery. A five-minute movie featuring all the animated players is also out, with very well drawn representations of the players, and each showing the characteristics of their real-life counterparts, with Neymar particularly amusing as he takes selfies everywhere. It's a Pixar-style adventure that sees the "real" players come back to save the world from clones who have been providing nothing but predictable football for too long. Watch it here.
Adidas – House Football
Nike’s main rival is adidas, has the distinct advantage of being the preferred FIFA partner, providing the official match ball and more in Brazil. But it has no shortage of star power itself, with a player roster that includes the likes of Steve Gerrard and Lionel Messi. In this latest clip, two of its elder statesmen, David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane, get caught up in a game through a house with Gareth Bale and Lucas Moura, providing some amusing moments.
Messi and others appear in separate, more serious spots, all of which stand up to the big-budget efforts of its rival.
Beats – The Game Before The Game
There is no doubt Beats headphones, by newly cashed-up Dr Dre, are the most ubiquitous headgear around, and that goes for the dressing rooms at the World Cup in Brazil, too. Dre, who recently sold Beats Music to Apple for a cool $US3 billion, may not have been involved in this stunning commercial, but it’s clear there is still plenty of money in the kitty to produce ads of this quality.
It features not only current stars like Neymar, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Cesc Fàbregas, Daniel Sturridge, Luis Suárez, Mario Götze, and Robin van Persie, but also those of World Cups past, such as Rio Ferdinand and Thierry Henry.
And if that’s not enough, LeBron James and Serena Williams step in to represent from other sports, alongside musicians Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj to round off a quite inspired commercial that really proves football is the game that brings everyone together.
Kia – Adriana Lima
In America, as in Australia at times, football doesn’t necessarily always mean football. To help convert Americans to the beautiful game, Kia has enlisted the helped of a Brazilian. Not just any Brazilian, though, but one of its most beautiful in Adriana Lima.
The Victoria’s Secret supermodel appears in a series of clips, persuading men to switch from gridiron, baseball, NASCAR and so on to football. Not surprisingly, dressed in a little black dress and heels (no sexism intended, we're sure), she meets little resistance. Let’s just hope the boys remember how good the game is once she’s out of sight.
Here is one of the best in the series where, Ms Lima arrives with some girlfriends to convert an American sporting man cave into a football-themed haven. Look out for the carpet at the end, a nice touch.
Banco de Chile - The Miners
If Australia wasn't concerned enough about facing Chile in its first match at Brazil 2014, Chile's rescued miners may well have made things worse for the Socceroos with this spot for Banco de Chile. The miners, who were trapped underground for 69 days in 2010, reunited to inspire the national team with some rousing words of encouragement.
"When Chile joins, impossible things start happening. Because Chile becomes more Chile when it comes to achieve a goal. Because NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE for a Chilean!"
Look out Socceroos.
Visa – Everyone Is Welcome
Zinedine Zidane pops up again with a cameo in this one, but not before one of the heroes of Italy’s 1982 World Cup campaign in Spain, has his turn. Freshly shaved by a barber in Brazil, Paolo Rossi exits alive despite his identity being revealed when he hands over his Visa card to pay. Memories of Brazil’s heartbreak in that tournament get a run, but because "everyone is welcome", Paolinho is spared. A funny, quirky little skit, that works well.
Emirates – All Time Greats
Cristiano Ronaldo and Pele feature in this somewhat cringeworthy effort promoting World Cup partner Emirates. There are good ways to use football star power in your commercials. This is not one of them.
Hyundai - Get In
Like Emirates, FIFA partner Hyundai has done nothing here but highlight that footballers make terrible actors. Oscar, Iker Casillas and Kaka are all the victims of a producer’s whims. No doubt they were paid enough for the hit to their reputations not to sting for too long.
Brazilian local airline TAM reckons everybody is trying to stop Brazil’s players from travelling home to play in the World Cup. David Luiz, Marcelo and Thiago Silva all struggle to get away from their European bases until the friendly folk at TAM step in to get them home. Could Brazil win the World Cup without them? According to TAM, probably not.
Budweiser – Celebrate As One
A weird one, this, possibly created after one too many Budweisers. Epic music, dramatic vision, but it all falls a bit flat. Hopefully the beer fizzes more. WASSUP it is not.
SBS – Brazil Is Coming
Of course we couldn’t leave this one out. Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes has had Australia bopping around its lounge rooms for a while now after featuring in our Brazil Is Coming spot. We hope you’ve enjoyed that one, and all the many magical moments that will come from the tournament proper as it plays out live and exclusive across SBS.