Matt Gatward: Rooney's worst nightmare becomes an adman's dream

View from the Sofa: World Cup advertising, ITV 1

What have Graham Taylor and Homer Simpson got in common?

Those who witnessed the former's unfortunate spell in charge of the England team could readily produce a healthy list of "d'oh!" moments Homer has since made his own (he's taken off Gary Lineker. D'oh! He's picked Carlton Palmer... to start. D'oh!) but the comparison doesn't stop there. The other answer is they both appear in the glut of World Cup TV adverts filling our every programming pause.

Taylor produces an impressive acting turn (maybe he missed his vocation?) in the Sony ad set in Bisham Abbey retirement home. Reprising the grouchiness that he so famously directed at the referee in Rotterdam in the '94 World Cup qualifier, he moans at Kelly Brook in a nurse's uniform (every teenage boy's dream).

Terry Venables is another resident (but surely El Tel will see out his days on the Costa del Sol) and the pair are annoyed at the TV being removed until it's replaced by a new one. Stuart Pearce appears as the odd-job man, much like he does for England now.

It's nicely done but is booted into touch by Nike's offering, given its first airing during the Champions League final. It's like a mini-movie and if this doesn't get the blood pumping in anticipation of the World Cup you either don't like footy or don't have a pulse. Starring (because that feels more appropriate than "featuring") Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Fabio Cannavaro and Ronaldinho, the ad is a brilliantly compiled, wry look at the impact the World Cup could have on a player's career.

Rooney gives the ball away to a rampaging Franck Ribéry in the last minute against France and suddenly has visions of disparaging headlines ("England in Roo-ins") and of his life deteriorating to such an extent he's living on a caravan park, with a big bushy beard, eating beans on toast. Cue Rooney bursting into action, haring back and slide-tackling Ribéry. The visions turn to knighthoods and Rooney hugging the Queen.

Ronaldo sees himself shoot to such levels of stardom he appears in The Simpsons and nutmegs Homer. Mind you, back on planet earth, Ronaldo probably already believes he's surpassed such celebrity heights.

Not all the ads get the mouth watering, though. The Pringles one is about as appetising as, well, a Pringle. Bizarre doesn't do it justice. Peter Crouch (of Spurs and England) and Nicolas Anelka (of Chelsea and France) seem to be cohabiting (finally, some out footballers) in a pleasant pad (no outside space but a decent-sized balcony), in a city that seems part London, part Madrid, part Rome.

Next door, Dirk Kuyt (of Liverpool and the Netherlands) and Cesc Fabregas (of Arsenal, Barcelona and Spain) have also moved in together, Dirk (not the easiest on the eye) having somewhat overpulled.

Nic and Pete play football with a tub of Pringles in the living room, (tut, tut) before running on to the balcony where Pete breaks into his robot dance. Nic looks on lovingly and joins in. They then roll out Bebeto's "rocking a baby" goal celebration. Perhaps they're planning to adopt? Dirk and Cesc, the couple next door, join in from their balcony. Then the rest of this city's inhabitants, who have all run into the street as if their houses are on fire, join in. To cap off the two minutes of pure genius it becomes apparent that Pringles will be called "Pringooooooals". It's cheesier than, well, a tub of cheese and onion.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
football
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Life and Style
tech
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering