Let's start with Nike's understated little low-budget effort.
That bit above was sarcasm. I'm very good at it. (That bit wasn't sarcasm.) I know from an industry source that the budget for this commercial was over £1 billion. Or something. It was a lot, anyway.
So the chaps at the agency will be pretty fucking embarrassed when I point out the obvious flaw with this great Southfork of an ad: You forgot to put the price in, boys! You forgot to add 'From just £44.99 at JJB Sports, Footlocker and all good sports retail outlets, see website for details, terms and conditions apply.' AMATEURS!
You also left out a bird with substantial bristolas modelling the boots wearing just a football shirt (a schoolboy error, that one), and missed on the opportunity to upsell all the other stuff Nike makes. I mean, in those 3 minutes of footballers getting fat, then getting knighted, having statues built of them, blah blah blah, you could have featured a good 75 other products.
All in all, a noble effort, but fatally lacking in bristolas, price flashes and a shouty voiceover. I expect better next time.
Next, Pepsi unites a continent that's been fucking itself ragged for centuries.
Well, some people might say that this ad, here in its full never-to-be-seen-anywhere-but-the-creatives'-showreel 150-second version, is a wang-shrivellingly patronising piece of imperialistic corporate horse shit. But what do they know? Maybe the people of Africa, up to their throats in poverty and debt, could be brought together by a group of multi-millionaire footballers and a big flag with 'Refresh your world' on it. How the fuck do you know until you give it a shot? This is a vision of a new politics for Africa. Football, a big flag and a load of locals who aren't killing each other because they're too busy having a fucking good time. Can't we just try it?
Great ad. Anelka demonstrates how to use the product, and Crouch does his funny little robot dance - the one that was all over the news...oooh...four years ago. It's perfect - 'The Crouchbot', as I have just termed it, is now a cliche so old and tired that it worries it's going to die every time it takes a shit. For marketeers, this is good news. It means there's no danger of it upsetting anyone. And that means pay rises all round. Good work from the agency. (NB - It doesn't matter that watching the ad makes you glaze over and start wishing that thing on your ballbag is a tumour.)
So, a mixed bag so far. We've got a missed retail opportunity from Nike, the hope of a new dawn for Africa from Pepsi (though they've disguised it as a massive mound of awful double-chewed shit) and a classic piece of lowest-common-denominator thinking that would have ensured a comfortable night's sleep for the marketing department.
Let's hope we see some advertisers using more bristolas and bigger price flashes in their World Cup advertising. If it's out there, I will bring it to you.
Why? Because I AM STILL THE CLIENT!