The Tuesday 10: Best football adverts

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Last time, it was footballers in regrettable ads. Now, Dan Ross gives credit where it's due...

Carlsberg ‘Dreams’

Carlsberg’s are probably the best adverts in the world.

Their England-heroes pub team ad became an immediate hit, and this green-tinted gem prior to World Cup 2002 had a similar impact.

It features Jason McAteer’s sleepy imaginings, where he plays like, well, someone better than Jason McAteer, and wins the World Cup for his country.

If Carlsberg ‘did dreams’ Jase would have ended up with the World Cup in his arms and some of the best clubs in Europe banging on his door.

As it was, he was relegated with Sunderland and Keano broke his nose. Still, Ireland did quite well...


Nike ‘Secret Tournament’

This ad was so big that it helped launch Elvis.

So incredibly popular was this Nike spot that the featured tune – the JXL remix of Presely's A Little Less Conversation – shot to No.1 in more than 20 countries.

The ad features a secret three-a-side cage football tournament hosted by Eric Cantona on a giant industrial ship.

The freestyle football on display from the game’s elite is nothing short of spectacular, while charismatic Master of Ceremonies Cantona shrugs off appeals against foul play.

"There is one rule. First goal wins," claims Eric, casting the losers into the ocean.

Following the airing of the ad, million of kids competed in Nike-organised versions of the tournament across the globe. None drowned.


FIFA10 ‘Blindfold Keepy-uppies’

To promote the latest FIFA video game, EA Sports asked the faces of their franchise to blindly kick as no man had kicked before.

The viral campaign has its own dedicated YouTube channel, and is a call to arms for players and gamers alike.

The idea, apparently, was to create a level playing field, where anyone could beat the best players in the world.

Well, it's possible... at FIFA10.


Nike ‘Airport’

You know you’ve made it when Honey Monster spoofs your work.

Nike’s airport commercial was advertising gold when it came out, brilliantly capitalising on the World Cup fever that surrounded France 98.

In happy pre-9/11 days, the stars of the Brazilian squad make merry mischief in an airport.

They drill a football through an X-ray machine, hit a man on the head, mess about on check-in conveyor belts and repeatedly dribble it round frustrated security guards.

The ad’s finale sees Ronaldo finish off the wonderful display of football by embarrassingly hitting the post of a makeshift goal after all that hard work en route… something that would prove eerily prescient come the World Cup final.


Budweiser 'You do the football, we’ll do the beer'

Thirty seconds of shamelessly stupid Stateside suggestions to improve the Premier League, ruthlessly rubbishing the rumour that Americans can't do satire (nonsense still peddled in the UK despite the nightly availability of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on More 4).

The ad sparked a thousand pub debates, all of which came to the same conclusion: multiball was the future.

Disappointingly this has not yet turned out to be the case, but we live in hope..


Pepsi ‘OK Corral’

In April 2003 the eyes of the football world were focused on the Champions League quarter-final showdown between Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Pepsi took advantage of the media circus, producing this Wild West take on the clash where United ride into a Real-occupied desert town.

Iker Casillas stops Becks from enjoying a cold Pepsi and a ‘shootout’ takes place.

It's a clever ad, nicely riffing on the ‘blockbuster’ feel of the star-studded European tie.

With a brace for Becks and a Ronaldo hat-trick, the matches didn’t disappoint either, Madrid sneaking it 6-5 on aggregate.

Fergie should have signed up the donkey.


Nike vs the Devil

Several of the classics in the Nike marketing library see Nike stars take on evil opposition - remember the mission to retrieve the top-secret football guarded by robot samurai warriors?

Obviously, the Nike team have an uncanny ability to see things from the perspective of a 14-year-old boy – and this offering is no different.

It pits Nike stars against the Devil and his team in a ‘good versus evil’ contest set in an old Coliseum.

The pitch markings are seared by fire, offal is launched from the terraces and the opposition is muzzled with metal.

"Maybe they’re friendly?" suggests Paolo Maldini, earning a withering look from Eric Cantona – as usual, the undoubted star of the show.

Several gruesome challenges later the ad shows good triumphing over evil with some silky skills and a fireball shot from Cantona.

His trademark raised collar and Arnie-style "Au revoir" line ooze cool.

Kids watching the world over wanted to be him. Or, as the next best thing, to wear his boots.


Pepsi 'Sumo'

Giant sumo wrestlers beat football’s finest at their own game in this hilarious commercial.

The prize? A cooler filled with Pepsi, naturally.

Becks & Co think this one will be a walk in the park until Raul comes unstuck against Neville Southall in a nappy.

From then on this match is one-way traffic, as these supersized stars slam their way to victory. They know how to celebrate, too...


Nike 'Next Level'

Never failing to impress, Nike’s football marketing department were at it again recently with this cinematic ad that plonks you right in the action.

The ad, directed by Lock, Stock... auteur Guy Ritchie, uses a unique first-person view and takes you from scoring a goal for a semi-pro team to making your international debut.

All this, of course, via an Arsenal contract, exercise-induced vomiting, humiliation by Cristiano Ronaldo, signing a female fan’s breasts, a tussle with Inter’s Materazzi, buying a flash car... you get the idea.

You live the dream. Except the scrap with Materazzi, obviously, he’s hard as nails...


Adidas 'F50 v Predator'

One of Adidas’ recent campaigns saw them pit their own boots against each other in an epic battle to decide which was better, the F50 or the Predator.

The collection of viral-style ads saw a host of big-name boot-wearers battle it out for their ‘team’ in a series of random-but-brilliant challenges.

Frank Lampard takes on Salomon Kalou in a thumb war and Shaun Wright-Phillips at a ‘Wibbly Wobbly Penalty’, while SWP also has to protect his sandcastle from Wes Brown.

Leo Messi and Xavi Hernandez go ten-pin bowling, Djibril Cisse and Philip Lahm play ‘Foot Tennisp’ while Kaka and Sampdoria’s Aimo Diana play ‘Footy Golf’ and stuff their faces with crackers.

In case you were wondering, Predator ultimately came out on top, Zinedine Zidane captaining his team to victory over Emmanuel Adebayor’s side in the final in La Manga.

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