Australians really got into the last World Cup – people set alarms to watch the games at 3am, plasma tv sales went ballistic, kids joined the local soccer club, non-sporty types started picking up football terms like “penalty”, “corner” and “Lucas Neill is a babe” – so when the World Cup kicks off (snicker) next month the pressure is on to keep the soccer-loving momentum going. This is a pressure clearly not lost on the folks behind the international broadcasting and their advertisers because no expense has been spared with the latet Nike soccer ad: the brilliant Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel, Amores Perros, 21 Grams) was put in charge of creating a ridiculously cinematic commercial pimping Nike, the “world game”, and soccer celebrities Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Landon Donovan and Ronaldinho. Also making cameo appearances are Nike main players Kobe Bryant and Roger Federer.
Over the top? Yes. Kind of rad? Yes.
Nike is obviously gagging for new celebrity talent to endorse their wares – especially since Tiger flaked out on them by laying every second woman in America. Who do you turn to in times of trouble? When your brand needs an advocate with an authentic voice, someone with international renown – but not tacky, a person who “gets” the everyman, someone with family values but also more coolness points than Jack Nicholson?
Spike Lee is the assistant coach for his son’s soccer league at the Sara D. Roosevelt Park field in Chinatown, New York. I have uncontrollable urge to hug him right now.