Nike Football, “My time is Now”


14 million views on YouTube and still going strong.

I’ve often eulogized the Nike work. Their access to and use of stars is often exemplary, but does this one go too far?

It is a promo that invites you into an interactive on-line opportunity to “find out what it takes”.

All very slick as you would expect, but is it too much?

With a wealth of talent at their disposal, everyone is in this spot Neymar, M’Vila, Götze, Ribéry, Sneijder, Ronaldo to name a few. Even Lebron James is crammed in there!

A case of not seeing the wood for the trees and not getting the best value out of priceless talent?

Obviously Nike and football have moved onto the global stage, but I still prefer some of the more tailored work – any excuse to show Park Life again:

ITV’s Euro 2012 trailer “It’s good to dream” – best football ad this year.


As the Europe and football fans everywhere look towards another Euro 2012, there is a flurry of advertising activity from the likes of adidas, Carlsberg etc.

But of all the choices, I think that the ITV effort gets top marks.

For a TV promo. it is pretty good. And if we were talking about an agency, we might even say there’s a good insight on the beleaguered English fan thinking (dreaming) of what might have been.

Above all it is entertaining and gives you a positive feeling about ITV and perhaps a stronger inclination to watch the channel where you have a choice.

Some great little insights that show what might have been. I particularly like the Gazza (Paul Gascoigne) monument in place of the “Angel of the North” and the Kevin Keegan references (bias of a Newcastle United fan) and if only Maradonna had been sent off!

David Beckham kicks Beethoven’s Ode To Joy for Samsung Galaxy Note


Samsung’s Olympic Games Ambassador David Beckham displays precise footwork with a 15-foot wall of drums, the GALAXY Note and the illustrative capabilities enabled by the S Pen.”

True, but as we saw when Beckham kicked it for Pepsi, there is increasing cynicism around these “skill” based creative ideas. (He didn’t really kick the shot that featured in the ad)

The product demo is great – big screen and a pen with an instant publish feature (my words not theirs!). It also looks good.

But we are all thinking that Becks probably popped in and did a couple of shots and the rest was done in post.

The thing that really gets the viral charts racing is when there is some genuine and believable skill. I can’t help thinking that this would have been more effective if we believed Becks had given it a go?

Reference Federer in his tennis shot for Gillette Fusion which knocks the bottle from the guys head – a bit more “believable”!

Puma – HardChorus – (2010). Brilliant.

Cliched football ads are hard to avoid.

Puma remain an exception to the Big Brand rule. They have a tone of voice that works, is relevant, interesting and motivating and supports their unique point of difference.

This ad is topical and oozes insight. It is already an on-line hit with the fans.

It is also useful – ref their website:

As the site says:

They want to be in your arms.You want to be in the stands. What do you do when Valentines Day falls on game day? Dedicate and send this song at
Beats the italian version hands down: Puma Italian HardChorus – Ti Amo
Well worth a few credits:

Agency: Droga 5, New York
Creative Chairman: David Droga ECD: Ted Royer
Creatives: Petter Hernmarck, Erik Hogfeldt
Agency Producer: Dana May
Director: Ben Gregor
Producer: Ben Mann
Production Manager: Hannah May
DOP: John Lynch
Post House & Producer: The Mill
Edit House/ Editor: The Whitehouse / Alaster Jordan
Sound House/ Engineer: Envy
Music: Savage Garden “Truly Madly Deeply”

FIFA 10 EA Sports Ad – How Big Can Football Get

Having eulogized about Nike, ESPN, SKY Sports, FOX Sports and Gatorade as fantastic examples of great football related work, I’m gutted by the above.

The promise is there. A great product, beautifully shot, with big stars, but what were they thinking in terms of script and sound track?

The old adage “if you can’t say it sing it” needs to be brought into play here.

The music doesn’t grip you and the script actually annoys. Particularly the end-line.

A lost opportunity to make a potentially great looking ad exceptional. Very surprising as it is from W&K Amsterdam of Nike fame.

Gatorade: “There is no Small Game”…for park players everywhere.

Most can eulogize about the fantastic creativity of the sports brands when it comes to the World Game.

Nike continue to excel and as posted previously, even the broadcasters are making some great ads when it comes to football.

Gatorade have reinterpreted the sentiment behind the famous Nike “Park Life” ad with a very entertaining piece for park players everywhere.

By CLM BBDO in France it gives a great twist to what you might expect and the mirror image of the Nike ad.

And for reference the classic 2006 “Park Life” from Nike featuring Eric Cantona, Ian Wright, David Seamen and Robbie Fowler, still with one of the best opening 5 seconds in advertising and soundtrack courtesy of Blur:

Footballing Bull in new Sony viral for Twilight Football

Twighlight Football is a global event, devised by the agency Fallon, to promote the Sony’s Exmor CMOS camera technology that enables photographers to capture high-quality images in low light.

The matches will begin in Italy on 22 September before moving to France, Spain, the UK, Argentina, Australia and then finally South Africa over approximately four hours and 40 minutes.

They will take place in a variety of exotic locations from the Iguazu Falls to the glacier under Mont Blanc. In Australia it is in the Pinnacle Desert.

The viral, created by Dare, focuses on the third location, a Spanish bullring, and includes shots of a bull showing off its footballing prowess.

Footage of the event as well as a twilight photography competition is on a the Sony website.

Given SONY’s association to football leagues, there are a number of links with broadcasters and brands across the globe, including FOX Sports in Australia:

The most successful aspect is that the global campaign uses social media to full effect via Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. It also supported grass roots tournaments, recruiting teams and giving it the credibility and awareness amongst fans (e.g. the UK’s Powerleague Tournament).

Nike ‘make the difference’ by Wieden & Kennedy London

Most of us who appreciate good advertising, appreciate the work of W&K for Nike Football.

It is creatively insightful, global in scale and utilizes all of their assets (players and teams) to full effect.

The really interesting thing about the campaigns is the level of continuity and integration across platforms, countries and products.

The new offering is the “Make The Difference” campaign. The integrated campaign of TV, OOH, Print and Digital premieres in the UK and then continues to roll out globally throughout the year. It is about what makes the players who feature in the spots truly great.

The first two spots featuring Theo Walcott (Arsenal) and Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), premiered in the Arsenal v Man Utd match last Saturday. Obvious but excellent placement.

The Rooney spot, shot by director Malcolm Venville, opens on a very mentally focused Rooney staring at his reflection in a locker room mirror. It delivers a professionals passion for the game in a new innovative way. Great stuff – even for a Newcastle fan.

SKY UK “Start of Season” on-air football promo

Continuing the theme from previous posts about strong channel promos for sport (see below), here is another good example from SKY in the UK.

It heralds the start of the season. And similar to those from FOX Sports and ESPN, it makes the most of the visceral emotion of the football fan.

Shot by Mark Harris and from the UK agency Brothers and Sisters, it captures the emotion and anticipation of the season ahead and importantly shows the empathy felt by SKY for a wide range of fans because they “feel the same”.

In other words good emotional stuff from SKY and backed up by their excellent coverage, interactive features and overall production of the games.

ESPN UK – Barclays Premier League advert – “It’s Great To Be Here”

Following the demise of SETANTA in the UK, ESPN has picked up their EPL rights and launched its first live UK sports channels, ESPN and ESPN HD.

The channels will feature 46 live Barclays Premier League (EPL) matches hosted by Ray Stubbs and Rebecca Lowe (Ex BBC Football Focus and Match of the Day).

They kicked off last weekend. With the momentum of a strong team and strong finances, I suspect that SKY will face some stiff competition from ESPN and “Stubbsie”.

The launch was driven by some strong advertising. Similar to FOX Sports in Australia (see post below), the promos featured the strong emotional connection that viewers have with their teams and the game.

This is about passion and living and breathing the beautiful game! Some great lines in there:

“Filled with pride, courage, meat and gravy…”

“I shall stand tall like a polyester beacon of hope…!”

These promos are well crafted creatively and well produced to lift the spirits of the viewer and anticipation of the season ahead.

Somewhat like a valiant cry in the midst of battle (!), the ad is full of hope and optimism. Stirring stuff and all before a ball was kicked in anger.

The ad for ESPN is voiced by Boys from the Blackstuff actor Bernard Hill and was created by Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam. No surprise to see it’s a good one as these guys produce the Nike Soccer ads. (Remember the classic Nike “Park Life”…..):

Lets just hope the games live up to the promise! (NUFC fan in remission…)

New Fox Sports Australia Football ad.

There is a definite trend towards BIG BOLD advertising which connects to the consumer. Big productions, longer time-lengths and stirring words and music talking to consumers in their own language (ref the new VB ad posted below…).

Fox Sports in Australia have produced a new ad celebrating the great game and the fans who have been waiting through the winter Down Under. Most fans will already be EPG locked and loaded, but for those that haven’t, it is a strong and timely reminder to get behind your teams on Fox Sports.

It is a strong example of an advertiser talking to viewers in their own language – the passion and pride of sports fans. Pay TV does this particularly well as they know their consumers so well.

And for those of us supporting Newcastle United, the “Championship” season has already begun with a flattering 1-1 draw.

Note the Newcastle fan and the level of abject misery and the Manchester Utd fan revelling in the replacement of Ronaldo with Owen. Grief. But spot on…

Michael Owen 40% OFF while stocks last.


As a long suffering NUFC fan and a “seasoned” (i.e. over 35!) marketing and ad man, I despaired when I first heard of the Owen Brand pitch via glossy brochure. Don’t get me wrong, I am an advocate of the “Brand” in its many and varied forms. I’ve even managed sports talent that are indeed “Brands” in their own right with a revenue stream and ego to match. Owen was as great a brand as is Ronaldo (expensive evil personified), Rooney (”once a blue always a blue”) and Shearer (the latest messiah).

But having seen NUFC dismantle itself financially, professionally, publicly in the press and on the pitch and having seen Mr. Owen’s central attacking role in this, I can’t help but see this desperate sales brochure as a final nail in his professional career. Who on earth advises footballers these days?

I heard the Stoke (yes Stoke) manager express interest despite “not receiving the brochure yet…” The very fact that Owen’s management has produced this speaks volumes. Reputations are and always will be created and ended on the pitch. The professional footballing success can then be leveraged off the pitch and has been in the case of Owen’s career at Liverpool and with England. It was well deserved at the time. He was a great player, but a poor purchase by Newcastle.

It adds insult to injury to suggest that a faded star who played a role in the demise of one of Europe’s great teams, is presented as a Brand with such current and valuable equity. Are we to expect a “cut price offer / this week only” addendum to this sales pitch? As to which business and brand is looking for this association baffles me? Air-freshners may be in with a chance…………..

Or perhaps I’m just another exhausted Toon Army faithful who is witnessing yet another bizarre chapter unfold in the very public story of the demise of a truly great Brand – Newcastle United (R.I.P.)

See you all next season at Blackpool, Scunthorpe etc.