To celebrate the launch of Nike's 'The Switch' which stars Cristiano Ronaldo, GiveMeSport takes a look at the American sportwear brand's best ad campaigns.
Every football fan can associate with Nike’s ‘Winner stays’ advertising campaign. A group of lads come together in their local park for a kick about – which seems very normal until there is a twist – like every football fan at some time in their life, they pretend to be their idols.
One boy announces himself to be Ronaldo, while his counterpart has his mind set on recreating the skills of Brazil star, Neymar. ‘Ronaldo’ breezes past players, while ‘Zlatan Ibrahimovic’ chests the ball down and ‘Eden Hazard’ is working his way through midfield with some fine skill.
However, the lads’ imagination turns up a notch, as they find themselves playing at the Santiago Bernabeu in front of a packed out crowd, and with the scores level at 2-2, one youngster steps up to take the ball off Ronaldo and place the pressure on himself to score the decisive goal.
The advert, released in 2014, is reminiscent of what all football fans have been like at some point during their life. Whether it is in a park in of London’s suburbs, on a beach in Spain or in the Favelas of Brazil, every young football fan has played with their friends and tried to recreate the skills of one of their idols. And Nike made those images every young football fan had in their head at one time, into reality.
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It was the second film of Nike’s Risk Everything campaign; in hope of inspiring football fans to do something unique and aspire for greatness.
‘The Last Game’ was different from the usual Nike campaigns involving the likes of Ronaldo, Neymar, Ibrahimovic and co. The cartoon ad was centred around the story of a villainous character in ‘The Scientist’ trying to create a ‘pure’ brand of football.
It was the third advert of Nike’s Risk Everything campaign; based around the World Cup’s most elite players coming together to defeat the manufactured ‘Clones’ that were designed to be undefeatable.
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However, Brazil legend Ronaldo brings the game’s elite together in a bid to conquer The Clones and prove that bold decisions and risk taking will always come out on top.
The ad proved so successful because its alternative style; deciding to use cartoons to tell a story that was symbolic of Nike’s message: Risk everything. Nike wanted to tell its audience to be brave, take risks, be daring and bold enough to do the unthinkable – all of which, to some extent, make football fans fall in love with the game in the first place.
The advert by Nike that is most well remembered is Airport ’98. Brazil – the most successful international team on the planet – are heading to France. However, like the football-mad individuals that the Brazil national team are, they can’t bare to be sat around doing nothing when they could have a ball at their feet.
Brazil’s squad are left bored waiting in the departure lounge at the airport, as they prepare to fly to France. However, Ronaldo wastes little time in getting a ball out for a kick about in the airport buildings, only quickly to turn it into full blown chaos across the airport.
The barriers are unclipped to make a goal, and the security are baffled by their skills – in true Brazilian style. Acting like you would expect a bunch of kids to behave; the Brazilian squad race around the terminal buildings with the ball at their feet, disturbing fellow passengers on the way, while taking to the runway also. However, all doesn’t end as Ronaldo plans, as he strikes the ‘post’ with his final touch.
Nike, again, created the association between football fans and real life situations. As kids, football fans are forever seen with a ball at their feet, and as the American brand try to show here; the pros are no different. A universal passion, at all levels of the game.
It was a reminder that world class players, from across the globe, were preparing to fly to France to showcase their skills on the biggest stage. However, when they aren’t performing in front of thousands, they are keen to practice and showcase their talents wherever they can.