Broderick Hicks is head of EMEA at sports marketing, music and talent agency Wasserman.
Desert Island Ads
In a world filled with unrest and uncertainty, sport provides a brief respite. Football elevates that respite. The beautiful game. The people’s game. And the world’s most popular game, played on the most global of stages, is a place where fans all over the world come together, set aside our differences and sometimes even our allegiances, to experience the joy – and pain – of it. For 90 minutes at a time (plus added time if we’re lucky) we all share in the full array of emotions – together.
During the World Cup, we as marketers, advertisers, creatives, and creators, have an amazing platform to tap into that joy, to add a bit more light, hope, and optimism as well. To tell our stories and reach people through the lens of the people’s game. To help us laugh, make us cry, to show us the best of who we are, and forget the realities of the world around us. It might seem like an impossible, idealistic world that I’m describing, and yet football somehow makes it possible.
Here are a few of the ads that embody the limitless capacity of the human spirit, told through the beautiful game.
Nike: Dream Further
Football fans dream of representing their country on the global stage as a player or manager, and now thanks to the amazing role models in the women’s game, girls are realising those dreams. Here’s to seeing hopefully seeing women manage men’s teams, in the next World Cup!
It’s brave of Coke to have a football advert that doesn’t actually show any match being played. We don’t see a single player or an actual game being played. Instead, it’s about the noises, the colours, the feelings, the togetherness of the people.
Nike: Brazil at the Airport
One of the GOATs of football adverts. 90s football is having a bit of a moment, and nothing represents that golden era of football more than Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima aka the orignal Ronaldo. F. His mazy runs, interjected by fleet-footed stepovers, and the Brazilian’s creative and unique style of football, represent the freedom and the pure joy of football.
He should have scored though..
Qatar Airways: We Will Rock You
Win or lose, it’s about the journey, and the World Cup brings people from across the globe, creating a melting pot of culture, fandoms, and people. But everyone speaks a common language – football.
Pepsi: Football Africa
A game of the people, for the people, and by the people. We’ve all pretended to be our sporting heroes, but this ad embodies the simple game football is, and that can be played anywhere and with anyone…even our heros. All you need is a ball. That’s why it brings everyone together. Part of its joy lies in its simplicity.