It is the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and, in addition to there being the opportunity to be absolutely gluttonous with football, but the different brands attempt to put their best foot forward to capture our attention and pockets. Football is big business and companies pay millions of dollars to be a part of the spectacle. For the sports brands, the competition is to adorn the bodies – and feet – of the football players in the hope that, if my favourite player is wearing their brand, I will be more inclined to interact with it.
Last world cup, in 2010 in South Africa, I posted on Nike Football vs Puma Football vs Adidas Football and, this year, none of them has disappointed, coming with a new ad to anchor their interaction with the tournament, although Puma seems to have focused solely on the football boot (evoPower and evoSpeed) they have provided to Italy’s Mario Balotelli, Germany’s Marco Reus and Spain’s Cesc Fabregas, all of whom I assume they sponsor. I must say, seeing that they sponsor Ghana’s Black Stars, I was a bit disappointed they didn’t include anyone from that team.
Adidas, who have been making the official World Cup match ball since 1970, have centred their campaign around Lionel Messi and players from the other national teams they sponsor, including Germany (Bastian Schweinsteiger), Brazil (Dani Alves), The Netherlands (Robin van Persie) and Spain (Xavi). Directed by Fernando Meirelles, the director of the legendary Brazilian film City of God, Fernando Meirelles, it features a track from Kanye West and is called The Dream.
In their words:
What happens when Messi wakes from his dream? As he steps onto the biggest stage in world football will his wildest dreams or worst nightmares become a reality? He has a simple choice — all in or nothing. To win the 2014 FIFA World Cup™, there is only one way to play: all in. The battleground is no place for the unprepared. Dani Alves, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luis Suárez, Xavi, Jordi Alba, Mesut Özil, Robin van Persie and David Villa know that boundaries must be pushed. They know there’s only one way to play with the whole world watching.Destiny is not fate. You have a choice. Fear or be feared. Hunt or be hunted. Evolve or die. Now or never. It’s black or white. all in or nothing.
Nike’s The Last Game is animated and features Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Neymar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Andres Iniesta and Franck Ribery, amongst others. Not specifically tied to the World Cup, it is the story of a world where a scientist has created clones of real players to create a stale football and it is wonderfully made.
Nike’s Risk Everything ad for the World Cup is dope but, with a couple of days gone already, and the ad being around Wayne Rooney, Ronaldo and Neymar Jr, the only one who, sa far, seems to be holding up to the pressure is Neymar.
Other ads shot for the World Cup include Pepsi Beats For The Beautiful Game, shot by Spike Lee:
And even Beats By Dre have jumped into the fray with The Game Before The Game, centred around Neymar Jr but also featuring an array of people from football players like Daniel Sturridge, Mario Gotze, Luis Suarez, Jozy Altidore and Bacary Sagna to other prominent personalities like Serena Williams, LeBron James and Lil Wayne.
Which ad wins? The one that is able to tap into our emotions best. And it is different for each of us. How we feel about the game, the players, etc will determine which we feel is best. It’s all about the content. The story. The feeling.