Friday, June 18, 2010

My Favorite Soccer Commercials

Is anyone else disappointed with the 2010 World Cup commercials?  I am.  They just haven't interested me as before.  Not that I would run out for Adidas or Nike cleats every four years (my Adidas cleats are over 12 years old). And if I did go to the store, I wouldn't miss a minute of any matches, because I can watch on my phone, while driving.  Anyway, this Cup's commercials are disappointing because they're  just selling products, rather than appealing to the imagination.

We who watch soccer on TV (WWWSOT) remember the old days, when there was no live soccer on TV.  The few matches we saw were tape delayed and edited for American TV, i.e. play was cut out and commercials were put in.  At some point, we started seeing live soccer.  Then, when corporations figured out that WWWSOT are above the national average in education and income, they decided to make soccer-themed commercials.  The earliest ones I remember were run-of-the-mill ads with soccer players, e.g. Tab Ramos (Snickers) and Mia Hamm (Pert). Then the ads turned into short films.  I've put a few of my favorites below the break.

Jose +10, WC2006. Long before internet fantasy leagues, boys imagined themselves playing with their futbol idols.  Here. Jose and his amigo pick their Adidas-sponsored players and boss them around.

Brazil at the Airport, WC 1998.  Brazilian players pass time, and the soccer ball, while waiting for their flight.  Sublime ad with self-deprecating humor at the end.

Dream Big.  In this Adidas series, their pitchmen visited minnows (small countries that perennially lose), ostensibly to help the players improve.  They visited places like San Marino, The Isle of Scilly (not Sicily), and Andorra - there's no telling whether the pitchmen (Beckham, Kaka, etc.) returned when the cameras stopped rolling.   Oddly enough, Beckham did not take the short ferry ride to Santa Catalina Island, CA, where the U8 league has just two teams.  Anyway, most of the ads are 4 minute clips on YouTube, but this 30 second one is nice because of Jose's philosophy at the end.

Good V Evil.  I think this was for Euro96.  Cantona et al. defeat evil in the soccer version of the Devil v Daniel Webster (of the Brendan Fraser/Liz Hurley movie for the yunguns).  The concept was ripped off years later in a baseball-themed ad starring some steroid freak.

The Secret Tournament, WC 2002. I never understood the concept of having a single-elimination 3 v 3 tournament on a barge.  Cantona plays the ring master (that's also him on the plane in the Brazil ad).  It's on my list because of the music, A Little Less Conversation.

Giggs at Home: Ryan Giggs plays a backyard World Cup final against England in this commercial that makes light of Wales' inability to reach the World Cup final or the final of any soccer tournament for that matter.

That's my list.  Feel free to post links of your own favorite soccer ads.


  1. In hindsight you can't beat the current Write the Future campaign for a really bad idea. I'll bet every single player will regret making that commerical for the rest of his life.

  2. Well, I've always loved "Then I will have two fillings"

  3. And of course this one never gets old

  4. Joe Doc has interviewed Heather Mitts. But he was too distracted to write down anything she said.