World Cup ads: cast your votes

In the lead-up to the World Cup, things go from bad to worse for Brazil’s government. Now it has been hit with a lawsuit for false advertising, with independent federal prosecutors arguing commercials talking up the benefits of the World Cup are “absurdly divorced from reality.”

Which simply serves as an excuse for us to show you some of the other World Cup ads that have been wheeled out for the tournament. A few of which are also divorced from reality.

1. Banco de Chile

The 33 miners who spent two months trapped underground in 2010 were recruited to fire up the Chilean team in the ‘group of death’. As the music builds, one miner asks: “Spain is tough? The Netherlands is tough?” What about Australia, mate? We’re in that group too. And we can wheel out our own rescued miners. Let’s word up Brant Webb and Todd Russell with: “Suffer in your jocks, Chile. You’ll (Socce)rue the day you overlooked us.”

2. McDonalds

Catchy tune. People doing neat tricks with a football, including an old fella on a mobility scooter and a woman dressed for a nightclub. And not a Big Mac in sight.

3. Nike

It’s fun. It’s clever, It’s got production bells and whistles up the wazoo, kids morphing into their footballing idols and an ending that would satisfy a Hollywood blockbuster test audience. But it’s really bloody long. I made a cuppa, did a load of washing, finished a Sudoku, took a nap, cleaned the car and it was still going. Makes Pearl Harbour feel like a trailer. You get my drift.


An ad that focuses on the fans and the steps they take, all over the world, to catch their team in action. Carries the slogan: “Every four years the world has one time zone.” Too true. More than any of the others, this ad got me uber excited about the upcoming tournament.

5. Samsung

The world’s best footballers are recruited to play against an alien team, the world being the prize on offer. Concludes with the grand statement: “Football will save the planet.” In a bizarre segue, Cristiano Ronaldo is found playing volleyball against a team of leggy semi-clad women. Note to Samsung: Fire your agency. Do it now.

6. Pepsi

Life can be fun in the slums, as long as you have Pepsi. I think that’s what they’re trying to say here. Loses points for the most blatant product placement.

7. Coca-Cola

Scores an own goal when it asks: “Shouldn’t the world be more like the FIFA World Cup?” Was that a sneeze or did someone say Qatar?

8. Currys PC World

Man tries to sweet talk his wife with the promise of a flash new TV so she can watch her gardening shows. She sees straight through him. Cute idea executed well and plugs a product without rubbing your nose in it.

9. DirecTV Latin America

If you thought you’d never see Hollywood director Oliver Stone in a World Cup ad – and seriously, why would you? – think again. In this commercial, Stone directs the on-field action, demanding more passion, theatre, commitment and footy stars. Which is a bit like telling Usain Bolt to run faster. But then, Olly never had a light touch, did he?

10. The Sun

This is what you do when you have a production budget of about $100. Seventy-four footballers, each wearing a shirt with a word from the Seekers hit I’ll Never Find Another You on the back, become a human karaoke machine, heading a ball in time with the tune. Song choice aside, it’s a quirky way to embrace the World Cup. Wins the prize for best ad on a shoestring.

11. Castrol

The only time you’ll see a rally car score a goal. Yes, a rally car. Combines lots of football tricks and burnouts, for all the soccer revheads out there.

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