Stefano Hatfield On Advertising

Straight in the top corner. That's how to score with an audience

This week, it's here at last: World Cup heaven (or hell, depending on your attitude to the beautiful game). Of course, whatever you think of Rooney's metatarsal, you won't be able to avoid the tournament, and unless you are bizarrely selective and choose only to watch the BBC games, you won't be able to escape the ads.

You've seen most of them ad nauseam anyway, so which ads stand out and which are just wallpaper? Rarely has so much been spent by so many for so few memorable moments.

Back of the net

1 Coca-Cola: the pick of the bunch (see Hatfield's Best in Show, right).

2 Carlsberg: the pub team filled with English star names, both ancient and just old, bears multiple repeat views, especially in its longer form, where Big Jack Charlton is driving the white van to collect the team en route to the pitch at the rec, teasing Chris Waddle about his ride, and overtaking Peter Beardsley on his bike. Bobby Robson's team talk and Jack Charlton's interaction with the referee - "'Name?' 'Charlton'" - are classic moments of ad history. It just all looks as if it was a huge laugh to make, and it restores one's faith in middle age: if all those athletes can go to seed that badly, then us mere mortals with our wee love handles aren't doing so badly. No one does UK football-related ads like the director Chris Palmer.

3 Carling: Andy Gray's voiceover betrays the pundit's genuine enjoyment of the 100s-a-side mass street football game that is Carling's World Cup offering. I'm not sure which is more enjoyable: the sight of the skins team in their full blubbery glory; the expression on the little round guy's face as he forces the goal past the keeper; or the joyous soundtrack, a cover of George Donald McGraw's "Woo Hoo". This, everyone, is sort of kind of how football began on the playing fields of our public schools. In fact, it's not so very different from how Watford play today.

4 Nike: I hated the first "Joga Bonito" ad in the series, with a beardy, lardy Eric Cantona, and I still find it difficult to enjoy the Manchester United-in-training spot. I simply don't believe in the jovial Alex Ferguson of the ad. But it is impossible not to be captivated by the footage either of the Brazilians playing keepy-uppy in the changing room (although it is difficult to keepy uppy with the number of times that this device has been used over the years in relation to a Brazilian national soccer team); or, more notably, a young Ronaldinho showing off his skills, and segueing into the modern-day wizard of Barcelona, employing the same tricks beneath the same glorious toothy smile. The trouble is, it's just not as special anymore: partly, because there are too many World Cup or football-related ads on air; partly because Adidas copies Nike so closely these days, the waters have got muddied; and partly because this is just not as special as some previous Nike campaigns. But it doesn't matter anyway. That Rooney metatarsal has done more harm to his Nike boot than any ad could do good.

Back of the bus

1 Mars: I'm sure "Believe" seemed like a good idea at some boardroom presentation in deepest, darkest Slough in autumn 2005, or whenever it was ill-conceived. Half of me wants to laud Mars for at least being bold enough to give over the name of its premium brand. But it's not a very big half. Does Mars have a real connection with football? And "Believe" is so trite as to be embarrassing. And that's before you've even seen one of the dreadful, instantly forgettable ads. If you're going to be brave, go the whole way and really make a difference. "Believe" was a good PR stunt that generated a lot of publicity, but has been poorly followed up.

2 Toshiba: a dreary, over-complicated print campaign offering the chance to get to Germany for the Cup. You probably saw it, but wouldn't remember. It lacked either the creative flair or media muscle to break through. Could you make the World Cup seem any less exciting? Ok, apart from one of Sven's press conferences, could you?

3 Adidas: so, it's not so awful in its own right. But the idea of a pick-up game where kids get to choose global superstars ("Zidane", "Beckham"), including a post-synced Franz Beckenbauer from the Seventies, is so "been there, last World Cup" that it is difficult to recall the ad later on in the same ad break. Plus, this has so long been Nike's territory. Why can't a fantastic brand with such loyal customers find its own voice without piggybacking Nike's marketing?

4 Nationwide: I actually like Nationwide's regular advertising. It's refreshingly direct, and makes a simple, concise point about Nationwide's difference to other building societies. Even if I don't entirely believe that it wants to be different, I do accept that it is. That is, until Nationwide - like everyone else - felt obliged to produce a World Cup-related ad. It may be true that Nationwide has more of a connection with the sport than, say, Mars, because of its long-standing sponsorship of the England team. But the questions are: why, then, didn't it get more players than Michael Owen and Ashley Cole? And, having got them, why weren't the performances better? And, even more curious, why does the whole ad appear to be so cheaply made, with very tight, repetitive shots of the two stars?

5 McDonald's: what are we to make of this? The company that is bringing us salads and discontinuing its Happy Meal toys doesn't appear to have become quite as PC as it would have us believe. Part of the company's football-related offering this summer includes launching a World Cup Burger, some 40 per cent larger than a normal Big Mac. And who was it that said that super-sizing was dead? Is there really any wonder that the marketing press last week was so full of stories about consumers not trusting McDonald's' health credentials?

6 The BBC's World Cup trailer: overblown, overlong and over-ambitious. This really is a disappointment. Partly, because we have come to expect so much from BBC marketing. And, as for the use of The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again", yes we will!

TO NO ONE'S real surprise, the Interpublic Group has announced the merger of the FCB advertising-agency network and its sister IPG company, Draft Worldwide, the direct-marketing and promotions specialists.

Notably, the new entity is to be named Draft FCB, giving the new CEO Howard Draft's outfit the lead role. Steve Blamer, the newish CEO of FCB, is a casualty, which is a little surprising. It was a tortuous enough process for Blamer to leave Grey and take up this FCB role. Did he not know that such a merger was on the cards when he did?

Curious. But not as curious as what the future entails. IPG has seen merger after merger within its agency ranks result in an even bigger mess because of irreconcilable culture clashes. How will the entirely different cultures of Draft and FCB gel? My fear is that the answer lies in the very obviousness of the question.

HATFIELD'S BEST IN SHOW COCA-COLA

The ad that has brought - albeit begrudging - praise from the rest of the ad industry, most of whom know how hard it is to do breakthrough on behalf of the Coke behemoth. But this has an almost unique quality among all the World Cup ads listed here (shared only with Carlsberg's "pub team"): it gets better the more times you see it. Yes, as the ad shows, we really are all brought together by the World Cup as by no other global event. But whereas that could have been expressed with stomach-churning schmaltziness, the ad agency Mother, by using animation and grotesque polar-opposite stereotyping and a great soundtrack have really created a gem that is spot on even in the cynical British marketplace.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Sport
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleFirst memoir extracts show she 'felt pressured' into going out with the Sex Pistols manager
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Sport
Lewis Hamilton in action during the Singapore Grand Prix
Formula OneNico Rosberg retires after 14 laps
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Head of Marketing - London

£60000 - £85000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Interim Head of Marketing / Marketin...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Digital Project Manager

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Digital Project Manager is needed to join an exciti...

Paid Search Analyst / PPC Analyst

£24 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Paid Search Analyst / PPC...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam