Which Team Will Risk Everything in the 2014 World Cup?
Football fans across the world are gearing up for their favorite season—the FIFA World Cup! The 2014 games are being held in Brazil, as 32 teams from around the globe compete head-to-head (or, rather, foot-to-foot) to bring home the title. The games are held every four years, and the last 19 tournaments have been won by only eight different nations: Brazil has won five times, Italy has won four times, West Germany has won thrice, Argentina and Uruguay have each won twice, and England, France, and Spain have each won once.
Anyone who’s into football, or is active on social media, is likely aware that all eyes are on Cristiano Ronaldo, who is considered by many to be the best player in the world. He is unequivocally the highest paid footballer in the world, bringing home €21 million after taxes. With the tremendous buzz surrounding Ronaldo, it’s no wonder that big name advertisers have tailored their World Cup advertising to suit the Portuguese superstar.
Leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Nike put out an ad that ignited the internet, and pumped everyone up for the big game. Nike’s campaign, Write the Future, perfectly captured the breadth of the excitement that the World Cup generates. From every corner of the world, and on every social network, the World Cup thirst was real. The ad ends with Ronaldo taking a presumably game-winning goal, quickly flashing to a statue being erected in his honor, and just before his foot makes contact with the ball, the screen goes black and reads “Write the Future.”
After that killer ad, it seemed as though creating a one to follow that would surpass Write the Future’s success would be nearly as difficult as winning the World Cup itself.
This year, at the end of April, Nike Football managed to best themselves; that is, if 74.3 million YouTube views are a reliable form of measurement. This new campaign, Risk Everything, has a similarly empowering message as its predecessor, and has built incredibly impressive hype throughout social media.
What may be most interesting about Nike’s World Cup ads, however, is that they neverexplicitly state what’s being promoted. There’s never a single mention of FIFA or the World Cup in any of these ads. It’s likely that the reason behind it is that Adidas, one of their leading competitors, is a partner in the tournament, but it’s fascinating nevertheless.
As if their first ad of the season wasn’t successful enough, Nike started building buzz around a second Risk Everything ad, leaking seven-second teasers featuring football greats including Zlatan Ibrahimović, Neymar Júnior, Wayne Rooney, Andrés Iniesta, and, of course, our buddy Ronaldo. Upon the release of “The Last Game” on June 9th, the internet went wild.
In just two days, the Pixar-esque video has already racked up 21.4 million views. The ad is pretty untraditional, and feels almost like a short movie and much less like a commercial. It features everything you’d expect in a Pixar movie—a villain with bottomless pockets, a bunch of heroes who are being held down by ‘the man,’ and a world full of sheepish onlookers waiting to see what will happen next.
After standing by as he and his footballer pals are all replaced by robots, Ronaldo Fenomeno knows that something must be done to stop the madness. He gathers (ie: kidnaps) Ibrahimović, Júnior, Rooney, Iniesta, and Ronaldo, along with Franck Ribéry, Tom Howard, and David Luiz, and proclaims that they need to “make a stand to save football.”
Fenomeno declares, “The game that we love is dying. The clones—they’re killing it.” He explains that no one thinks the clones can be beaten, but he knows that they all can if they work together. “You are not afraid to take risks,” he insists, “You play like it’s just a game; they play like it’s a job. You riskeverything, to win everything.”
As the footballers take on their robot clones, it’s made clear that they’ve got a great chance of winning. The corporate bad guy hits some buttons and pounds on some screens, and increases the clone army tenfold. We watch the football greats wipe the floor with their clones—even pausing for just a minute for a selfie with one—and then, our hero, Cristiano Ronaldo, goes in for the kill.
He takes the ball nearly to the net, then pauses, noticing there are no clones in front of him. “No, that’s too easy,” he smirks, as about 15 clones fill the space between him and the net. “That’s better,” he says, just before tearing through them, and then over them, with his fancy footwork, coming to a full stop just before the goal. He then casually kicks the ball into the net. The crowd roars, the footballers have won, and Fenomeno motions to his team and shouts, “CLONE THAT!” Bam. Risk Everything.
If over 21 million people have gotten this stoked on a five-and-a-half minute video on YouTube, I can’t wait to see what’s in store when the games begin today. For a prime spot to watch the game, with great beer on tap and delicious food well within reach, make sure you come down to Bistro 72 at Hotel Indigo East End!