No matter which field of advertising people work in, the creativity and ingenuity required to engage a target audience is becoming more and more demanding by the day, with no brand able to rest on its laurels regardless of how big or popular it might be.
This is certainly true in the world of sport, where a sports team can fall from grace off the field just as quickly as a team or athlete might crumble on it.
However, when done right, sports advertising can launch players, teams or brands into the stratosphere. Conversely, if it is done badly it can see them plummet to oblivion.
Here are some examples of both, all of which will have you picking your jaw up from the floor or trying to stifle laughter.
Guinness Goes Surfing and Hurling
Usually the brands that try to align themselves with sporting values and legends are those who work directly in the field, such as sports clothing companies or energy drinks.
So, it is truly remarkable when a company with little or nothing to do with sport manages to harness its best qualities in an ad campaign.
Guinness has been doing that for years, using the sports that the brand’s native Ireland is famous for to create truly mesmerizing series of adverts. The most dramatic is perhaps the speedo-wearing big wave surfers who share waves with wild stallions.
Now just imagine horses mixed in here and you get an idea of how epic this ad was
Nike Pitting Good Vs. Evil in the Colosseum
For a while there was something of a battle going on between Nike and Adidas for which of the sports apparel companies could feature the most famous footballers possible in their respective adverts.
In our humble opinion that battle was already won by Nike in 1996, when they assembled everyone from the real Ronaldo to Ian Wright in a demon filled colosseum to take on a team of undead baddies.
Having taken their lumps, the footballing legends finally worked the ball to Eric Cantona, who rather than opting for a karate kick, decided instead to unleash a shot so fierce that it literally knocked the stuffing out of the devil himself. They just do not make ads like that anymore!
Cantona had the last laugh in the Colosseum
Red Bull: Reach for the Stars
This energy drink company has made the world of extreme sports its own over the last couple of decades, sponsoring everyone from famous surfers to edgy skaters.
Of course, they have even begun to form relationships with teams and athletes of more traditional sports too, with Red Bull emblazoned outfits appearing in everything from F1 grid line-ups to those who appear on a bet parlay, meaning in some soccer leagues it can seem as if Red Bull own half the teams.
However, it is the brand’s backing of people who take their sports to the outer reaches of what is possible that really make them stand out.
This became apparent when they held perhaps the greatest advertising stunt of all time, allowing unhinged Austrian have-a-go astronaut, Felix Baumgartner, to fall to earth from space, all so he could crack open a can of energy drink after he had packed his parachute away.
Man Utd and Deadpool Fall Flat on Their Face
It should have been a match made in heaven: Wayne Rooney’s Man United superstars teaming up with Deadpool to create an ad for the ages.
Unfortunately, whoever directed this woeful ad failed to realize that the likes of Rooney and Bastian Schweinsteiger are typically about as animated as a brick. The result was one of the most forgettable ad campaigns ever, with Deadpool even falling asleep during a Red Devil game.