Ads of the World Cup



By Amos Ang

Much like the World Cup, there are winners and losers in the arena of World Cup advertising. While Gladiator it is not, the battle for viewers’ wallets is still a fierce contest that has spawned some brilliant concepts and some straight up awful ones. From the adrenalin fueled to the cringe inducing, we’ve got them all right here.

The Good

Castrol Footkhana

What do motor oil and football have in common? Nothing really, which makes this ad all the more impressive for leaving a lasting impression. Professional racecar driver is pitted against Brazilian soccer star in a series of football related challenges that in its zany, tyre-smoking way manages to bridge the gap between ludicrous and amazing.

McDonalds GOL

In a conscious shift away from ads that focus on football stars, wily Ronald has chosen to leave them out altogether and surprisingly, it works. Featuring a cast of everyday characters performing football tricks even some professionals might struggle with, the footage includes a model juggling a ball in five inch platforms and a sprightly grandpa who proves he’s still got the moves.

Nike: The Last Game

No World Cup is seemingly complete without a blockbuster advertisement from Nike, and this year’s edition is no different. The ad, Nike’s first dalliance with animation waters is no toe dip, but more of a cannonball splash at five minutes long. It even contrives to squeeze in a Space Jam-esque storyline along the way. Compelling stuff.


The Bad


Attempting to discern the purpose behind this ad is akin to trying to find the Healthier Choice label on a plate of lard-fried char kway teow: it’s not there. Choosing a youth looking more in need of a haircut and a job than a Pepsi as the ad’s central character should perhaps have been the first sign of trouble. Football superstar Leo Messi does make a 5-second appearance, but even the world’s best player four times over couldn’t save this travesty.


In this 45-second clip by Kia, any credence brought by the presence of Adriana Lima vanishes once the viewer realises that football-related footage makes up of less than a quarter of the ad. The bulk of it consists of Ms. Lima redecorating the garage in attire more suited for walking the night than for household chores. It’s not entirely dismal, but you’d expect better from a brand that’s an official partner of the World Cup.


The Downright Ugly


Perhaps confusing the World Cup as a test of pronunciation, this wince-worthy ad sees NFL coach Jon Gruden and competitive eater Joey Chestnut, along with a couple of well-endowed Hooter waitresses repeat the word ‘football’. The premise is comical in itself, but add in the retarded parroting and you have an ad so bad – it might just be good.

An effective remedy to the bout of consternation you feel after watching the heinousness that was the last video could be this pizza deal by Domino’s on our Facebook page right now – two whole large pizzas, completely free.