Women’s football is good for women in ads. And Nike does it best of all.

Nike shows once again that it can do sport better than anyone else in this Women’s World Cup ad by Wieden and Kennedy.

It’s an exhilerating romp through the footballing dreams of a 10 year-old girl, taking in sporting action, dressing room bonding, computer games, paparazzi, and even a female manager of Barcelona — all done with a light touch and set to the soundtrack of Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation.”

Women’s football has been a good moment for women in general, as far as advertising is concerned. The sport provides a liberation from looks, beach bodies and the domestic setting, so that gender clichés and the need to be “woke” become irrelevant.

Women are allowed the space to get on with what they are doing, and to do it in a team environment so that – for a change – they aren’t set against one another, but are working together. Visa, BBC Sport, and Lucozade are among the brands who’ve come up with strong work around the World Cup.

There’s a lot riding on the tournament, which starts on 7th June in Paris, with brands and media committing to the game in the hope that it will take off commercially at last. England’s women have a genuine shot at winning; the BBC is broadcasting every game from the tournament; Clare Balding is fronting a weekly show on Channel 4 called “Women’s Football World”, sponsored by Coca-Cola; and the Telegraph has put a big investment behind its new “Women’s Sport” channel.

Nike’s endline, “Don’t change your dream. Change the world,” gives a nod to the challenges still faced by women’s football. Every tournament starts with expectation — let’s hope that this one lives up to the dreams of marketers and ten year old girls alike.

MAA creative scale: 9

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