Since the turn of 2014, we here at Instep HQ (most notably Jordon and me) have been releasing several versions of what we have started to call the “Boot-ies”…our own version of soccer equipment awards! After deciding to take a stroll down memory lane and revisit some of the best ads in the history of football advertising, it felt only right that we share our opinions in another edition of the “Boot-ies!”
The Top Three Ad Campaigns for Soccer Boots!
My third favorite ad campaign for soccer boots actually pre-dates my time testing or even truly caring about what boots were on my feet. Still, after the first viewing, I always find myself gravitating back towards this gem. Add in that it includes a collar-popping Eric Cantona and some interesting play (Vinnie Jones would be proud) makes a Nike advert that would have caused me to immediately go out and grab some Nike gear. “Oh,” I would say, “you can kick the ball really hard? Well, I can kick a ball through Satan’s chest!” And thus, Number three on my list: Good Vs Evil by Nike
Although I will admit that this ad holds a TON of personal bias within it, it still makes the list. Did you say that Zidane is in the ad? You have my attention. You say that Steven Gerrard is also in this ad? You have my FULL attention. Two of my favorite players of all time and the beginning of Zidane’s search for the best players en route to the 2010 World Cup (including the launch of the Predator X and F50 adiZero). Despite the fact that it might not be Zidane’s voice narrating the video, it still lends a great gravity to the voice-over. If there is not some small bit suggesting that Gerrard can bend iron bars as a small child within the video, it might have a shot at number one. But, as a player that yearns to always have the captain’s armband, every reference to Gerrard’s captaincy in this video saves it from that ridiculous ten seconds. Therefore, Number two on my list: The Powerhouse by Adidas
There are very few things that I have come across in my time working with soccer equipment that I would fight people over. You think that Nike does not make the best synthetic in the market? No big deal…we can disagree. You think that the current CTR360 is a horrible boot? I might shoot you a raised eyebrow, but we can move on. However, saying that several Nike commercials being presented by Eric Cantona that include him saying “Make the ball happy,” the Brazilian national team showing off their constant smiles, the notorious Ronaldhino crossbar trick, and several other greats does not make your list? There’s some fighting words buddy…
So, at number one, and my favorite ad campaign of ALL time: Joga Bonito by Nike
Puma absolutely knocked their recent build-up to the evoPOWER out of the park. By keeping the boot under wraps and using the audacity of Mario Balotelli to only add to the launch of their newest boot, it should result in some serious press for their newest release. Couple it with the video ads and a huge launch event in Barcelona and you have a recipe for a fantastic ad campaign.
Adidas may have brought about some serious fan wrath with the recent moves of the Predator, but they have always known how to create hype for their most heralded silo. The two that stick out in my mind as the best are the paintball launch for the adiPower (linked below) and the mass of videos used with the LZ launch (which you can find for yourself). Only showing that the current LZ is even more of just a pit stop than a full release would be the lack of major launch that a Predator demands…hopefully, the next step gives the Pred its proper due.
and now, Jordon’s best ad campaigns –
As nice as the boots and football are, you sometimes need a little more than your actual boots to get your brand out to the general public. Which is where football gear ads come into the picture, and boy do the brands know how much commercials mean for their gear. An awful advertising campaign can be a disaster for sales, whilst an amazing video could be the difference between you and your competition brand. But of course, while not every ad is a success, we have seen some top videos ever since companies saw the importance of football ads. Here is my top 3 favourite football boot ads of all time.
3. Adidas 2011 Germany kit launch video
Granted, this may be the one ad that people look at and say ‘hmmm, I have not heard of that ad before’. I know it is not the most high profile ad of all time, but there is something about the classy way that this video has been put together that I find irresistible. Launched back in 2011, the video commemorates the 2011/12 Germany home kit, which adidas also tied in with (what was) the recently released F50 adiZero TRX complete with miCoach technology. It follows the journey of a young amateur footballer as he makes the jump from football in the park to training with the German national team.
Except it is not quite that predictable. Instead, adidas set in reverse, starting the video off from the youngster’s training session with Germany, and ending with the boy pulling the miCoach chip out of his boots. Set against a classical piano score, it sets itself apart from videos that use flashy graphics and loud music, creating a beautifully put together video that is has an inspirational vibe about it.
2. Nike’s ‘Write The Future’ 2010 World Cup ad
Remember how I said the companies put a lot of effort into their ads? The next two commercials definitely show off that point. The companies put that little bit of extra effort into their videos when it comes to a World Cup or Euros year, and why should they not? Millions, if not hundreds of millions, tune in to the major tournaments, meaning the exposure the companies get is monumental. But if there was one World Cup ad that stood out for me, it has to be Nike’s ‘Write The Future’ ad campaign.
The ad sums up how the hopes of a nation rests on a single incident in a game. A free kick, a tackle, a goal line clearance, it could be the difference between a life of regret and forever being the pride of a nation. With the World Cup less than 6 months away now, it is worth getting excited for the boots we will see released between now and the first game in Sao Paulo. Nike always likes to blow our minds when it comes to gear released around the World Cup, and we know you guys would love what Nike have put together for the World Cup…
3. Nike’s ‘Take It To The Next Level’ commercial
But then there is that one commercial that makes you go ‘wow’. And when you enlist the genius of Guy Ritchie, you know you are in for one hell of an ad. Following an amateur’s journey from scoring the winning free kick for his local side watched on by Arsene Wenger, he makes the whirlwind journey from local footie to playing against international superstars Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez, Ronaldinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The adventure culminates to the player representing his native Netherlands, where he has a chance to score a free kick in, yes, that ‘next level’ of football.
It replicates the drive and effort a professional footballer must put in to play in the highest levels of global football, and the massive journey they face to play against the world’s best. Think about players like Crystal Palace’s Dwight Gayle. Three years ago, he was playing in the lower echelons of English football for Bishop’s Stortford, now he plays in the Premier League after a massive acceleration through England’s football leagues. Minus playing for his national side, Gayle could probably relate to the journey to the top, and if anything, the commercial makes you want to go outside, grab a ball and put in that little bit of extra effort to make yourself even better.
You can never go past the legendary Joga Bonito series, but the adidas Germany kit just edges it because of the classy way the Germany video was put together (which saw it make the top 3). Meanwhile, I love the comical take of the English FA on Nike ‘Take It To The Next Level’ ad (which, sadly, is probably the more realistic portrayal of my football playing days…).