The tournament has yet to begin, but soccer fans are already enjoying a bevy of quality commercials inspired by the 2014 World Cup.
As usual, Nike, and the other sports apparel giants have worked furiously to pump out candidates for the best World Cup commercial, but some unexpected companies are offering serious challenges to the sports advertising throne.
Let’s start with the most unexpected gem to date—Beats by Dre’s “The Game Before the Game,” which may stand to be one of the finest commercials of 2014 in any industry.
After waterboarding the American public with Aloe Blacc in 2013 and early 2014, Beats has redeemed itself by making a World Cup commercial with the art of a short film.
All the usual cliches are present—shots of the product, cameos by athletes in other sports and musical artists who could probably care less about who wins this tournament.
The difference between this and other star-studded, mass appeal commercials is the execution—Beats keeps things tight and driven. You don’t know what is happening, but the next thing you know you’re amped up to the point of flipping a coffee table.
Next up is Nike’s “Winner Stays” commercial, which hits on a timeless subject: “Being” your favorite players.
If you’re reading news on a sports web site, chances are you grew up assuming the identities of your childhood sports heroes. In Nike’s spot, kids switch back and forth between themselves and Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and other stars.
The only letdown is the brand exclusivity evident in the commercial. If kids are picking favorite players, someone is going to be Lionel Messi. Alas, the Argentinian superstar’s soul contract belongs to Adidas.
Last, but not least, are a collection of World Cup spots from Kia, featuring Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima.
It’s a simple concept—Lima is an ambassador of the beautiful game here to remind us American heathens that there’s a whole other sport out there to be enjoyed this summer.
I believe I speak for everyone when I write that we hear you and we’re willing to learn, Adriana.
And those, my friends, are the current clubhouse leaders for best 2014 World Cup commercial.
Check back later, as I’ll be updating the list when new ads worthy of consideration drop. In the meantime, enjoy the games and watch out for Ghanaian witch doctors.
On the Twitters.