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Top 10 World Cup Ads

FourFourTwo goes in search of the 10 best World Cup ads as we await the spectacle that is Brazil 2014.

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What makes a TV advert memorable? How do you sear your brand into the mind of your targeted audience? What do you do when there are millions of eyeballs glued to the TV screen during an event as huge as the FIFA World Cup?

Here we pick out some of the best World Cup TV adverts from recent years, in no particular order.

Nike - Airport (1998)

The Brazilian World Cup team get bored while waiting for a flight at the airport. Not content with sitting around like mere mortals, Ronaldo and co. proceed to kick off a madcap game of football that stretches the length of the airport and even parts of the runway, much to the chagrin of airport security.

Adidas - Footballitis (2002)

What if playing football were an incurable affliction that affects professional footballers and officials even off the pitch? Cue the likes of Fabien Barthez, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham and even former Italian referee Pierluigi Collina prancing around and looking silly.

Nike - The Cage (2002)

Who can forget this advert about a secret football tournament held on a battleship, with nutty ringmaster Eric Cantona playing host? With 24 elite players in eight teams competing to the beat of Elvis Presley's 'A Little Less Conversation', this ad was the epitome of football cool. And of course the losers had to go over the side of the ship as Cantona cackled evilly.

Carlsberg - Pub Team (2006)

Imagine turning up at your local kick-about with your Sunday team only to find the opposition consists of legendary footballers. That's the scenario that Carlsberg were asking people to consider as they trooped out Bobby Charlton, Stuart Pearce, Peter Beardsley and even the legendary Bobby Robson as coach.

Adidas - Jose + 10 (2006)

Adidas' version of fantasy football involved Jose and his pal Pedro picking players from different eras to join them on a dusty football pitch in the middle of their neighbourhood. Oliver Kahn, Frank Lampard, Michel Platini, Franz Beckenbauer... Why not? Play on.

Adidas - Star Wars Cantina (2010)

Daft Punk, Han Solo, Snoop Dog/Lion, David Beckham. Time to rewrite movie history in one of Star War's iconic scenes.

PUMA - Journey of Football (2010)

Made to welcome the World Cup to South Africa in 2010, PUMA's ad features uplifting music, kids playing football in the streets and some of the Africa's best footballers. Goosebumps, I tell ya.

Budweiser - Spot Kick (2010)

It's all come down to a penalty shoot out, and the fans do their best to distract both the goalkeeper and the spot-kick taker. But what's the most effective way to do so? Pretty simple, but point made.

Pepsi - Oh Africa (2010)

This far-fetched storyline has football superstars Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba, Andrei Arshavin and assorted footballers travelling out to the African plains and then realising they have to play a bunch of local kids in order to get a swig of Pepsi. Watch out for Henry trotting out the "Do you know who we are?" line.

Nike - Write the Future (2010)

Write your own future, Nike exhorted in its 3 minute advert, featuring the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Franck Ribery and Wayne Rooney in various different timelines that all hinged on what they did or did not do during the World Cup.

And a bonus... Is this the worst football advert ever aired?

Castrol - Edge

What sinks this ad isn't Cristiano Ronaldo playing football in extreme conditions, nor is it his ridiculous pirouettes to beat opponents that crumple to the ground all around him. What makes you double over in helpless laughter is the horribly canned accent and cliched lines. "Hot places... Cold places... Exhilarating places... And other places."

Think we've missed any? Let us know in our comments section below.