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: A final look at the most ubiquitous soccer-related Euro 2012 ad, at least during ESPN’s coverage, Pepsi’s Kick in the Mix.

The ad actually launched in March, but since it played at least once a game throughout the tournament, we’re counting it as a Euro 2012 ad.

We’re also throwing the normal criteria out the window here. As anyone who watched the tournament and saw it roughly 64,000 times can tell you, it’s a putrid mess of a production, and getting players of this caliber and having them do this is akin to having a squad of fighter jets pull your sign for Roscoe Motors up and down the crowded shoreline.

So instead of assigning points, we’re going to do a quick running diary of our thoughts through this. Try to bite down on a piece of leather or whatever it takes to get through the whole thing.

0:03 – There is not a single crazy beach dance rave in the world that all six of these people would be present at, but that’s maybe just because Sergio Aguero prefers line dancing.

0:07 – Fun Fact: Exactly one of these players participated in Euro 2012, the tournament this commercial was theoretically shot to coincide with, or at least during which it hit its most heavy period of rotation. Granted, the one who did won the Golden Boot, but only because he got to play against Ireland. I could have scored two goals against Ireland.

0:15 – I like that this crowd of people is treated like it’s the Great Wall, obviously because all soccer players are short.

0:16 – Crowd-surfing? Sergio Aguero has the worst ideas.

0:20 – Let’s be honest, the crowd would drop Fernando Torres. He’s the Daffy Duck of this production.

0:26 – Frank Lampard and his stunt double/digital copy look like the difference between Keanu Reeves fighting in the Matrix sequels and computer-generated Keanu Reeves fighting in the Matrix sequels. Except the real Frank Lampard looks computer generated.

0:29 – This commercial wisely avoids accusations that it loses the plot once all these guys start kicking around their magical glowing soccer ball that has appeared out of nowhere while running on a crowd of people who otherwise are enjoying their secret crazy beach dance rave by never having a plot to begin with. It’s like George Lucas directed it.

0:32 – How is the compromise solution to the fact that they’re not wearing uniforms or dressed up at all as soccer players having their names appear in blue lasers? If I don’t recognize them by face, is having their last name going to help. More importantly, if I don’t recognize them by face, wouldn’t I have changed the channel by now?

0:37 – Sidenote: Who the hell is Calvin Harris? And why is he so bad?

0:38 – All soccer commercial all-star squads are coached by Norman Dale or Xavi. It’s the only way to explain why every single one of them has to touch the ball each time before they’re allowed to shoot.

0:41 – Drogba’s hero shot here looks like a woodcut illustration out of a paperback version of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology.

0:42 – Cool guys don’t blink during headers.

0:43 – But they do fall back to Earth while doing grand, messianic poses. Who does he think he is, Superman?

0:49 – All they have to do is hit the machine?! What is the point of this madness?

0:54 – I bet Xavi and Iniesta arranged for the lifting and transport of that Pepsi Max machine so that all Messi had to do is climb on it.

0:57 – The moral, as always, Lionel Messi is better than you. And kind of a douche.

Final verdict: I don’t care what the criteria say. I award it no points, and may God have mercy on its soul.

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