By Malay Desai
From: USA, by Wieden + Kennedy
The second film of Nike’s ‘unofficial’ FIFA 2014 campaign kicks off in a park. When young boys of opposing teams name themselves by football icons before playing, they magically turn into them as the game proceeds. Focused around superstars Ronaldo, Neymar and Rooney, the film goes on to feature many contemporary football heroes such as Ibrahimovic, Pique, Higuain, Iniesta and even personalities such as basketball’s Kobe Bryant and the animated Hulk. The film narrates a 2-2 scoreline before a commoner takes a penalty meant for Ronaldo, going on to win the game.
Why we like
With less than 40 days to go for the world’s largest sporting spectacle, being a marketer of an MNC shoe brand means more pressure than that on the defending champions. But as Nike had mentioned in its film preceding this, ‘pressure shapes legends’, and it has surely shaped a neat ad film.
Let’s get this straight – Nike isn’t the official sponsor of the World Cup, it’s Adidas. But that was the case in 2010 too, and despite the latter’s time in the sun, Nike’s phenomenal ‘Write the future’ ad stole immense attention. This attempt isn’t as legendary in its narrative but as for scale, it’s perhaps the biggest in its history.
Just as Adidas had put the fan’s aspirations amidst the glory of football icons in its ‘Jose+10’ campaign in 2006, Nike too has put the teen in the picture. The ‘I’ll be Ronaldo, I’ll be Neymar’ feeling is something every young sportsman knows, and the agency has simply treated them with a four-minute-long daydream.
It’s a daydream like none other, there are stars from every footballcrazy country, and they’re all on the top of their popularity curves. The film has expectedly slick editing, going back and forth from the neighbourhood heroes to those in the stadium and later using fan shots to build up the drama. But this would still be like any ad for a TV channel or an energy drink.
Nike then throws in amusing, almost absurd characters and moments to defuse tension and bring in hilarity. There’s a basketball icon, a postman.. even The Hulk in the midst of the drama. Also, lines such as ‘You don’t look like David Luiz, that’s an ugly wig!’ are necessity more than indulgence when the film is this long. The second half (yes, this column has for the first time used the Bolly critic phrase) game play might seem exhausting, but not if you’re a football fan.
All this said, a brand has more chances of getting it right with this budget, run time and celebs at disposal. For a campaign which says ‘risk everything’, this is a safe bet.
(To watch this film, go to Vimeo. com/92977957 and to know of Nike’s social media campaign around it, look up the hashtag #riskeverything)
Facebook’s eye on India’s billions
Amidst the chatter about our elections last month, we forgot to report of Zuck’s company’s first quarter numbers. While overall user stats are up as usual, the big landmark in India is of 100 million active users, 8% of which are smartphone users. These are still small numbers given that our internet penetration has a long way to go. So like any self-respecting visionary, the network has embarked upon a project to provide internet to those deprived of it. Facebook has joined Internet.org, a global partnership between tech leaders, MNCs such as Unilever as also local communities in this mission, across the world. Of course, doing so in India, especially through the 3G way, will reap immense benefits for the social network. If you are thinking, “Wait, hasn’t Google done anything about this already?”, we will ask you to look up the Balloon Project, a similar initiative but a more niche method.
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Gunday – the worst movie in history on IMDb!
Compulsive users of the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDb) know of the site’s movie lists which work on users’ votes. We heard that YRF’s Gunday, which didn’t ring any ghantiyaan with the audiences, has made it right to the top of the ‘Worst Movies Ever’ list on the global site. It seemed quite odd; for we have seen several others which fit the distinction, until we read later that the voting was done in bulk and all came from our neighbouring country! The film apparently carries an insulting reference to the birth of Bangladesh, to which legions of online bloggers from the country objected and made it their mission to downgrade the film on the site. They had it their way eventually with Gunday getting a rating of 1.4 on 10 when we last checked. We don’t care about this (nor does YRF we think), but this goes to show how ‘crowdsourced’ data can sometimes be utterly misleading and unpredictable.
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Finally, Mumbai gets its version of ‘Happy’
To balance this space with news of virals done right, we are happy to say that Mumbai now has its own version of American artist Pharell Williams’ Oscar-nominated song ‘Happy.’ Last year, when the singer-songwriter penned his happiness-filled track for the movie Despicable Me 2, he ended up starting off a worldwide wave of shiny happy people dancing to its tunes. There were ‘Happy’ versions from all over the world, and organizations. In fact, last month, Pharell also teamed with the UN and got folks to donate through a happy video. Now, there is a Mumbai version of the song, which is late but worth the wait. Directed by Insha and Ishan Kapoor, the 4.26 minute long video features Mumbaikars of all shapes, sizes, professions and at multiple locations. It’s a sureshot way to get your mornings kicking and a prescription for homesick NRIs. Go watch!
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