Here we present you, the top 5 commercials presenting sports brands and professional athletes with a twist, according to Sportzwiki. These commercials still remain, some of the most unique and unconventional marketing campaigns ever created.
1. Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII
Aired: March 2012
Cast: Rafael Nadal, Cristiano Ronaldo
This unique commercial by Nike uses improvised cross-sport from two of the world’s best athletes, Cristiano Ronaldo and Rafael Nadal, to promote its Mercurial series of boots.
It starts off with Nadal practising in a closed court, when Ronaldo walks in wearing his football kit. They begin trading off shots at each other, Nadal with his racket and Ronaldo with his feet, and it slowly gets more competitive. Nadal starts hitting forehands, and after a few rallies, Ronaldo beats him with a half-volley, Nadal looks on with disbelief.
Then Nadal sheds his racket for a game of full-on foot tennis. He starts enjoying himself, and when the game ends, he chooses to keep his new pair of boots.
2. Gillette Fans of Steel
Aired: February 2014
Cast: Roger Federer, Lionel Messi
Again featuring a football/tennis combo, this time battling it out in a locker room. It tries to highlight the mental toughness needed by athletes to overcome odds in a difficult situation. Roger Federer and Lionel Messi are about to have a shave, when they are faced with an array of razors to choose from, each representing a different country. As they pick their blades, they are transported to that nation’s popular sports.
Messi gets his hands on cricket, ice-hockey and tennis, while Federer gets sumo wrestling, rugby and Formula1 racing. They finally have a showdown in football, with Messi donning his national jersey, and Federer standing in as a Brazilian goalkeeper. Messi walks out with a wink, while Federer promptly grabs all the razors.
3. Gatorade ‘Quest for G’
Aired: February 2009
Cast: Kevin Garnett, Usain Bolt, Derek Jeter, Jim Johnson, Misty May, Kerri Walsh, Alicia Sacramone, Kareem Abdul-Jaffar
A very colourful follow-up to Gatorade’s ‘What’s G?’ campaign, this one takes on a humorous approach, by parodying the legendary Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Athletes from multiple sports team up to form the ‘Knights of G’, to confront challenging obstacles in their ‘Quest for G’. Michael Jordan narrates the story, and dance troupe Jabbawockeez make a cameo.
This campaign remains by far one of the funniest ad campaigns ever, it never takes itself too seriously. Yes, it does promote an energy drink, but does so by paying a star-studded homage to the Monty Python series.
4. Nike+ Men vs Women Challenge
Aired: March 2009
Cast: Sofia Boutella, Roger Federer, Fernando Torres, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Paula Radcliffe, Tony Parker
Arguably, one of the most controversial ad campaigns, it showed women competing against men, backed by athletes representing each gender. It highlighted how male-dominated competitive sports usually has been, but the trend is changing.
It starts off with a woman, portrayed by dancer/actress Sofia Boutella, joining in the challenge in which men were ahead. She goes out running in the streets, where more women join her. It cuts to an elevator, where Roger Federer is surrounded by five women, they too join the challenge. More men and women join in, and the score becomes even.
The Nike+ running shoes transmitted kilometres ran wirelessly to iPods and Nike+ Sportsbands. It was a highly successful campaign for Nike, and as of now, Nike+ has more than 28 million active users.
5. This is SportsCenter
Aired: Since 1994
One of the longest-running commercials in history, it is run by ESPN to promote SportsCenter, their flagship daily sports program. All of the commercials are shot as mockumentaries. Its realism and mundaneness gives viewers a sneak-peek into the quirky personalities of sportsters and news anchors. Although they depict famous athletes doing menial, everyday tasks, and engaging in casual chit-chat, they still manage to make people smile.
Athletes depicted include, Andre Agassi, Kobe Bryant, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Michael Phelps, Tiger Woods, The Undertaker, etc. In the past few years, the commercials have also included pop-culture, some of them being characters from Star Wars, and the sharks from Katy Perry’s 2015 Superbowl performance.
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