TRIO’s Picks for Best World Cup Ads
The World Cup is underway! And billions (yes, billions with a ‘b’) of people around the world are tuning in to watch their favorite footballers battle it out for the title of ‘best in the world.’ Known as the world’s largest sporting event, the World Cup means big bucks for brands with a global audience.
The only catch with advertising for the World Cup is that, unless you’re an official sponsor, there are quite a few restrictions on what you are able to use. In fact, only official sponsors are allowed to use any official World Cup imagery or descriptions. Brands can’t even use the words ‘World’ and ‘Cup’ together in a sentence. Pretty crazy. However, these restrictions also give non-sponsor brands the opportunity to be more creative in their marketing approach.
Today, more brands are turning to social media and grassroots-style efforts in order to reach their audience, reacting to real-time events happening both on and off the field at the World Cup. But before social media took over the marketing world, brands would pull out all the stops to produce a single TV spot.
Allow us to indulge in our nostalgia a bit as we take a trip down memory lane through some of the most celebrated World Cup ads over the years. Brands would take these longer clips and splice them up into several 30-second spots to be shown throughout the duration of the tournament.
The Game Before the Game – Beats by Dre
What’s so brilliant about this spot is that they never once say ‘World’ or ‘Cup.’ They create this powerful and inspiring narrative with a pep talk and a behind-the-scenes look as well-known football players prepare for an impending match. The spot continues to build in intensity until the climactic moment: the players walk out onto the field.
Old Lions – Calsberg
This spot is just plain fun. It highlights old-school English football heroes such as Peter Shilton, Stuart Pearce and Bobby Robsen, all coming together for a pub league match. It’s entertaining to watch these older guys act like teenagers again, then turn around and dominate a group of younger guys. It draws you in and makes you feel like you could follow these guys around all day.
Write the Future – Nike
I love this spot for so many reasons. It shows the ripple effect of every single moment in the game and how it can impact each player’s life in either a positive or negative way. The spot has a somewhat serious message, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously, as evident by the comical and seemingly far-fetched futures it shows of each player who makes contact with the ball. Fun and empowering? it doesn’t get much better than that.
Ian Darke Calls a Date – ESPN
While the majority of ads for the World Cup focus on the iconic players, this spot is a refreshing departure from the typical game-centric messaging. It showcases one of the ESPN World Cup commentators warming up for the big game by providing colorful commentary on some random guy’s blind date. Not only is it funny, but it’s extremely relatable. After all, who hasn’t had similar commentary running through their head during an uncomfortable first date?
Even though times are a-changing and social media is where most brands are investing their budgets, you can still count on a handful of brands to continue to churn out some awesome TV commercials.
Our resident World-Cup-obsessed team members, Julia and Brice, both agree that ad from Geico is definitely a favorite from this year’s batch of ads:
Longest Goal Celebration Ever – GEICO
What are some of your favorite spots you’ve seen either this year or in year’s past?
Also, who else is regretting picking Egypt to go all the way in their office bracket? 🙋🏻♀️ Just me? Cool.
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