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: We know we did one of these last week, but then Nike went and released their big Euro 2012 ad, so you’re getting it again.
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. a. Number of world class players: 20. I’m not bothering to count. Any ad that bothers to show Gregory van der Wiel obviously has star power to burn. I’ll even count Pato, even though he’s going to be looking for a parking space for hours.
b. Directing: 13. At times the frame can get so busy it’s tough to tell what you’re supposed to be concentrating on, and not really in the “rewards multiple viewings” way, but by and large there’s a lot of good work here. The slow and fast motion in the same shot touches, like on Sakho’s tackle at :45 and Ribery’s dribbling at 1:07. It moves fast but isn’t choppy, and remains interesting despite the lack of actual soccer in it.
c. Soccer skills on display: 8. The moves we get are nice, I particularly enjoy Sneijder’s basketball-style crossover dribble with his feet right at the beginning, but with so many faces to show the focus is less on the chaos on the pitch and more about all the people coming to join it.
d. Coolness of premise: 6. I get that the ad is designed to dovetail with Nike’s “The Chance” talent search/reality show/whatever, and it is a nifty way to get all those players whose teams are represented by different apparel manufacturers out on the pitch, but it never really goes anywhere, does it? I was sure this was going to end with Neymar and Iniesta fighting the 100 black and white players, like this:
e. Humor: 8. Two points for Ozil and Gotze and their own personal Mario Kart game, one point for the dinner scene with Pique and Iniesta running on the table, two points for the funny face Pato makes once he realizes he’s not going anywhere, one point for asking Ribery to grimace, and two points for the Ronaldo stinger at the end. I give Ronaldo a lot of crap, namely because I’m still pretty sure he’s not a good person, but kudos to him for letting himself be the butt of the joke in this one.
f. Miscellaneous: 6. I guess Pep’s taking notes for his own personal edification? Actually, upon further review, he doesn’t seem the least bit surprised by the pitch invader, which leads me to believe that he’s actually the one organizing the entire thing.
g. Absurdity of premise: 3. I honestly can’t tell whether to give it a 1 or a 5. Obviously it would never ever happen, but at the same time is it all that crazy?
h. Soundtrack: 5. I think the song works well for the ad.
i. Bicycle kick? 0. I don’t think there is one, is there? Are bicycle kicks becoming passe.
j. Famous cameo? 5. LeBron earns them the points. Would have been nice to see him on the pitch at the end though. Also, why doesn’t Eric Cantona play the security guard? He had a nice little gig as Nike’s Stan Lee for a while. Wonder what happened to that.
Total Score: 74
Final verdict: It’s not quite “Write the Future,” but it’s pretty good.