The Friday Morning TV Club

Back in the fall, we wrote a two-part breakdown of the art of the soccer commercial. We looked at ten notable ads, from Carlsburg’s Pub Team to Write the Future and the Secret Tournament, searching for the secrets of the genre, what it was that made particular commercials truly great.

As part of this Friday feature, we’re going to run some new, or at least new to us, commercials through our criteria, to see how they pan out and where they’d rank among the ten original ones we surveyed.

Today’s ad: This two-year-old Turkish Airlines spot featuring most of Manchester United

Here are our criteria:

a. Number of World Class players (Up to 20 points)
b. Directing (15 points)
c. Soccer skills on display (15 points)
d. Coolness of premise (10 points)
e. Humor (10 points)
f. Miscellaneous (10 points)
g. Absurdity of premise (5 points)
h. Soundtrack (5 points)
i. Bicycle kick? (5 points)
j. Eric Cantona? (5 points)

a. Number of world class players: 15. I mean, granted, it’s all one team, but close enough.
b. Directing: 10. I can’t tell if it’s deliberately calling back to the Brazil airport ad from 1998, but the effect is similar. At any rate, the action is well-choreographed, and the only player confusion you might experience is which one’s Fabio and which one’s Rafael.
c. Soccer skills on display:  8. Some fairly fancy juggling work, but the more claustrophobic setting hurts it in comparison to the Brazil ad.
d. Coolness of premise: 5. A couple of points docked for being a copy.
e. Humor: 6. Points for Berbatov being a jackass, and Scholes being an old curmudgeon, but most of its score in this category comes from Van der Saar’s last minute save.
f. Miscellaneous: 5. I was sure this was going to end with Scholes mistiming a tackle on someone and punching a hole in the plane, like in the Seinfeld finale.
g. Absurdity of premise: 3. They actually do this on their European trips, but the plane has a specially-installed pitch.
h. Soundtrack: 2. I’ve got nothing really to add.
i. Bicycle kick? 0. Not going to count Rooney’s for this.
j. Famous cameo? 5. Sir Bobby Robson (right?) is pretty good.
Total Score: 59
Verdict: An amusing, if not particularly standout, ad.

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