Over the past few World Cups, it has become the tradition for big sports brands to throw significant budgets on their World Cup commercials. These ads are full of effects, zero-to-hero storylines and of course the endorsed stars that are soon to grace the field at the FIFA summer showcase aplenty. Whilst Nike and Adidas are usually the biggest players with these ads, this opportunity has become very similar to the ad wars seen at Christmas each year.
It’s generally agreed Nike have been the market-leaders in the innovative World Cup ad business for the past few World Cups. In 2010 Nike dropped their ‘Write The Future‘ ad about the potential future’s of players winning the tournament compared to what could happen if they failed (specifically Rooney):
2014 saw them release their ‘Risk Everything‘, with kids playing football ‘pretending’ to be the world stars:
And then Nike even broke the mold and released one for 2016’s Euro’s, ‘The Switch‘:
With a week to go before kick-off in Russia, today a brilliantly clever ad with a colossal budget was released. However, opposed to the manufacturers of the boots and shirts of the World Cup stars, it’s manufacturers of the premium headphones often seen wrapped around their heads and necks: Beats.
The Dr. Dre and Apple brand really have ticked all the boxes in order to make this venture into the pre-World Cup ad business. They’ve got themselves plenty of stars, Guy Ritchie to direct it, a Peaky Blinders-esque narration and even an underdog story of a child being as the title suggests ‘defiant’ and overcoming bullies with his footballing ability.
‘Made Defiant: The Mixtape’ is as about as typically Guy Ritchie as it gets with even cockney actor and former ticket-tout Paul Anderson introducing Kane with the familiar Richie “This is Arry…” Albeit far more stylised than the likes of Lock Stock and Snatch, what would you expect when Beats have the budget for this 4-minute ad probably greater than that of the entirety of one of those films.
And then there’s the cast which includes: Harry Kane, Mesut Özil, Thierry Henry, Benjamin Mendy, Patrice Evra, Neymar, Gabriel Jesus, Eden Hazard, David De Gea, and even Serena Williams (because why not!?).
In case you were wondering, the ad is for Beats Decade Collection – but that doesn’t really matter now does it!?