The soccer World Cup isn’t just about the games; I believe it’s also about the human stories behind it. Brands from all over the world understand this notion and capitalize on it by creating beautiful, provoking, and inspiring campaigns.
Soccer is the sport that brings the entire world together, and brands don’t waste any time in the preparation and execution of their messages. Budweiser recently released a new World Cup commercial earlier this month that tells viewers around the world to “Rise as One.”
“Every four years there is a beautiful moment when the world forgets its differences and unites in its love of the beautiful game,” Budweiser’s description reads. “A moment so powerful, the air buzzes with energy, and millions will come together to hope, believe and rise as one.”
There are literally hundreds of great commercials that have surrounded the FIFA World Cup over the years. Here are my favorite top five.
5. 2014, VISA: Rossi Walks into a Barbershop
This is a funny one, after getting a shave in a barbershop in Brazil, Rossi tries to pay with his Visa credit card. It’s only then that the Brazilian barber realizes that it’s the Paolo Rossi, and he has flashbacks to the famous game between Italy and Brazil in the 1982 World Cup where Brazil got defeated 3-2 by one of Rossi’s goals.
4. 2006, Adidas: Jose Picks teams
This is certainly the dream of all little kids who love playing soccer. Choosing between the best players in international soccer history for your backyard team is hard to beat. I also think it has the perfect ending – Jose gets called by his mom to come back inside (we’ve all been there).
3. 2010, Coca Cola: History of Celebration
This is by far one of my favorite commercials, ever. Coca Cola encourages soccer fans around the world to celebration with passion and spirit, following the example of Cameroon soccer legend Roger Milla. He danced his now legendary “Makossa’ or “corner dance” in front of a Coca Cola perimeter board, becoming an icon for players and fans around the world. You can’t help but smile while watching (unless you’re Colombian).
2. 2010, ESPN: Robben Island
Speaking of emotional commercials, I believe this one takes the cake. It communicates the historic nature and importance of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, through the prism of soccer. This spot was filmed on location at Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. It is the site where eventual South African President Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for decades, alongside other political prisoners, during the country’s apartheid era.
1. 2010, ESPN: United
This campaign captures better than any other the true power of the World Cup. It isn’t magical. It isn’t all-knowing, it can’t fix the world, or even change it in a large way. But for that one month, every four years, it brings together a world that has so much division and misery. It’s more than a truce. It’s a party. The images in this ad are breathtaking, and the voice-over and background music are perfect.
This post is also available in: Spanish
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