Viral marketing and a talented director have led Nike's latest advertising video to be seen over 8.5 million times in ten days on YouTube - the most viewed video site-wide for seven of those - and just shows how far a bit of creative know-how can go, as only half of the teams depicted in the advert are actually Nike-sponsored.
Taking part in Nike-augmented visions of footballing nightmares and fantasies are Didier Drogba (the Ivory Coast), Fabio Cannavaro (Italy), Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott (England); Franck Ribery and Patrice Evra (France), Landon Donovan and Tim Howard (USA); Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique (Spain), Thiago Silva and Ronaldinho (Brazil) evade South Korean attentions, and Cristiano Ronaldo dons the armband for Portugal against the Netherlands.
Also appearing are fellow Nike-endorsing sportsmen Roger Federer and Kobe Bryant, while Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, cartoon character Homer Simpson, and an homage to deceased pop star Michael Jackson boost the power of Ronaldo's inspirational moment.
In reality, only five of the ten teams depicted in the advert wear Nike apparel. Though England's Umbro kit appears by virtue of Nike's ownership of the British brand, other associations are made only by allusion.
It is in fact Puma which supplies kits for both the Ivory Coast and Italy, and the company has been allying itself with many African teams over the past few years, creating a special Africa Unity kit in the process. It has also organized World Cup training camps for the Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Cameroon in Paris, France, to enable further promotion the United Nations Environment Programme.
And while Nike's campaign is likely to be the most lavish and its popularity the most headline-grabbing, Adidas has the greatest sanctioned presence at the FIFA World Cup, and sponsorship of the commercial's most notable omissions - Argentina and their wing wizard, Lionel Messi.
Not only is Adidas an official top-tier partner of the tournament, but it sponsors the most teams at it, counting Argentina, Germany, and hosts South Africa among the those wearing their logo, as well as the French and Spanish sides referenced in the above advert.Reuse content