The 10 Best Football Adverts Of All Time
Football tournaments mean one thing: football adverts showing off silky skills and trick shots. With the Euros on, we’re going to see more soft drinks and trainers marketed to us using fancy footwork from the world’s finest players. Here are the ten best footie adverts of all time…
1. The Cage
An industrial Waterworld-esque ad for Nike has Eric Cantona as the ringmaster for a knockout tournament featuring some refreshingly non-computer enhanced footie skills in a cage. On a ship. Some classic names on the pitch – Henry, Ronaldinho, Nistelrooy and Totti – and some classic names off the pitch too – the ad campaign was directed by film director and former Monty Python actor and animator Terry Gilliam.
2. The Unbelievable Game
An ad executive’s wet dream – free running, break dancing and football all combined to sell sugar free Pepsi Max (think Diet Coke marketed in a way that makes men feel comfortable drinking it). Despite straining a bit too hard to be “street” the skills on show are pretty sweet.
3. Street Kings Amsterdam
Is this an advert? It makes me want to go to Amsterdam. I’d expect residents of a city awash with hashish to be a bit less sharp on the ball. It’s beautifully filmed too.
4. Drone Football
Another Pepsi Max ad, this has them transform a football pitch into an interactive video game. The drone in the title doesn’t do much, and the actual football “skills” on display won’t have Mourinho scrambling to sign them, but it’s padding out this list, isn’t it?
5. Nike – Airport 90″ – 1998
An oldie – check out the retro 4:3 aspect ratio! – but a goldie, with the Brazillian football team alleviating airport boredom by kicking balls past checkin, past airport security and past planes on the runway. This was before 9/11, of course. Now the advert would end in a bloodbath with overzealous security guards gunning them down, but 1998 was a more innocent time.
The ten best football adverts of all time – the final five
6. Emirates cabin crew
Just to show that it’s not easy making a football related advert, here’s a dull stinker of an advert by the Emirates airline. Germany and comedy never go well together, and whoever was behind the clunky attempts at humour were clearly constrained by boardroom executives. But the football skills are dire too.
7. Welsh Maradona
Not actually an advert for anything, but I’ve included it because I met him backstage at Britain’s Got Talent and he smelled of feet really badly. Also he got to stay in a hotel after the show but I didn’t because I live in London. I love staying in hotels, you can make mess and someone else is paid to come in and clean it up, unlike my flat which just stays messy. Anyway, great skills, although who films stuff in portrait mode? Also, David Walliams is a prick.
8. Winner Stays
Everyone secretly fantasises that they’re Rooney at the World Cup being cheered on by thousands of fans when they’re really down the park with their mates. This ad brings that to life, with Ronaldo, Neymar, Rooney, Iniesta and…The Incredible Hulk?
9. Clones vs Humans
Football isn’t just about skill – it’s about passion, risk and larger than life characters. This ad for Nike has a scientist creating a “perfect” team of identical grey clones – then the real players return and show that passion triumphs over dull perfection. Although for this advert, computer generated nonsense triumphed over real footballers showing real skills. Might as well watch Toy Story.
10. Peter Kay doing keepy-uppies for John Smith
Finally, away from the toned international millionaires, gleaming stadiums and CGI enhanced footwork, an advert we can all relate to. Anyone who’s ever put down jumpers for goalposts on a drizzly Sunday morning or struggled to get enough people together for a game of headers and volleys will recognise this – a few mates warming up with some keepy-uppies, showcasing their dexterity and skill as they pass it between them – then they pass it to their mate, who punts it onto a garage roof. Nice one.
Don’t agree with us? Let us know which adverts you think should’ve made the top ten:
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