With this summer’s Europeans Championships and Copa America happening right now, ESPN and Fox have their marketing campaigns to get American viewers to tune in in full swing. Summer tournament marketing has been around for a while and it’s given us some great commercials. Prior to the 2014 World Cup ESPN had a great spot with Ian Darke narrating a couple on their first date, or don’t forget Nike’s spot demonstrating how quickly your fortunes can turn with a World Cup performance.
But there’s one commercial that stands above the rest. Jose +10.
10 years ago the world turned their eyes upon Germany for the 2006 World Cup. Adidas had just launched their “Impossible Is Nothing” campaign and with that created the greatest World Cup commercial we’ve ever had. The story of two boys dreaming up their own fantasy soccer match.
Since my generation loves nostalgia let’s take a look back and break this baby down to fully appreciate the good, amazing, and weirdness of it all.
0:00-0:09 – We start in what looks like the favelas of Brazil, but is actually a Spanish speaking country with Jose and his friend Pedro. They’re bored and decided to play some footy. They shoot odds and evens for who gets the first pick. Pedro wins.
0:09-0:17 – The draft begins. Let’s break this baby down.
0:09 Pedro’s first pick – Djibril Cisse
An interesting but not quite terrible pick.Odd that’s he’s the first pick when you can take literally anyone, but a good striker nonetheless. He’d just scored 19 times for Liverpool the previous year and was a striker for a very good France team. He got hurt right before the 2006 World Cup so that kinda stunk for Adidas’ marketing team.
0:11 Jose’s first pick – Kaka
A great pick here! Remember in 2006 Ronaldinho was being marketed as the best player in the world, but Kaka was actually the best player in the world. Heads up pick by Jose.
0:13 Pedro – Zinedine Zidane
Great pick by Pedro. Getting one of the best central midfielders in the world. And that would be the reputation that he’d carry for another month until that hole head-but thing would tarnish the way we’d think about him forever.
0:15 Jose – David Beckham
I don’t like this pick but I understand it. Beckham could cross a ball like no one else and could take a mean free kick. Other than that he was an insanely overrated player. But in 2006 he was easily the most marketable player in the world. Bend It Like Beckham had come out three years before this so Adidas had to fit him in here.
0:15 Pedro – Jermaine Defoe
What in the world are you doing Pedro? You can pick anyone in the world and with your third pick you’re taking Jermaine Defoe? Not only did he not make the England team that year but even in his best years Defoe was barely making the England team, let alone a team where you can pick literally anyone. It’s almost like Pedro is trying to lose.
0:16 Jose – Oliver Kahn
You need a goalkeeper and Oliver Kahn was at the top of his game back then. No complaints here.
0:17 Pedro – Lionel Messi
Finally Pedro wakes up and makes a good pick. Sure this is a few years prior to Messi hitting his prime but it’s always best to get in on the ground floor with these guys.
0:17-0:25 Jose – Franz Beckenbauer
The moment that changes everything! Jose sneaks one over Pedro by taking 70’s star Franz Beckenbauer. At first he’s laughed at by everyone until the 1970’s German defender comes trotting onto the field. Now you realize that literally anyone is on the table.
0:25-0:31 Pedro – Michel Platini
Realizing what’s going on Zidane whispers to Pedro to take French great Michel Platini and out comes the great French player long before he became the head of UEFA and just another crook inside FIFA.
0:32-0:37 – The draft is somehow completed and Pedro decides tosses the gloves to Jermaine Defoe telling him to go in goal. Frank Lampard gives a laugh.
Seriously Pedro? Not only did you draft Defoe but you drafted him as a goalie? Have you ever heard of guys like Buffon, Cech, Barthez, or Howard in 2006? Hell I’d even be ok with you taking David James. If I were running a football club I would never let Pedro have any say when it comes to picking players.
0:37-0:39 – The coin is tossed and Cisse tries to pick it up, only for Jose to rip it out of his hand and tell him “I am the captain.”
0:40-0:56 – The boys line up their teams giving us a glimpse at some of the other players they have available as they get ready for the kickoff. Pedro lines his team up in a 4-4-2 because of course he does. Everyone in 2006 played a 4-4-2.
0:56-1:59 – The game is played. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.
1:02-1:10 – The ball is kicked off and for the first 10 seconds it’s nothing but really quick fancy tricks and a shot of Pedro standing still and screaming at his players. That’s exactly what I’d expect Pedro to be doing in this game.
1:20-1:25 – The ball finds it’s way to Kaka who brings it down and shoots right at Jermaine Defoe. Defoe makes the save, albeit by jumping up and kicking the ball away and then laughing about it.
Somehow Jermaine Defoe in goal works out for Pedro. Unbelievable. Even if Defoe has no idea that he’s allowed to use his hands.
1:27-1:32 – Apparently Jose is pretty impatient. After one missed chance he sends Kaka to the bench replacing him with… Damien Duff?
Hold the phone. How the hell did Damien Duff make it onto Jose’s team let alone into this commercial? You can pick any player of all time and the best you come up with is Damien Duff? Ever heard of Bobby Charlton? George Best? Or how about that guy named Cristiano Ronaldo. Jose’s making it seem like Pedro isn’t the worst manager in this commercial.
1:32-1:40 – Pedro puts the ball back into play for his team and his guys do a fantastic job showing off their passing and ball handling skills while maintaining a level of possession that even Louis van Gaal would be proud of.
1:41-1:47 – The ball finds it’s way to Frank Lampard who shoots it in off the crossbar despite German keeper Oliver Kahn saying it never went in and what a moment this is for two reasons.
This shot is made to be reminiscent of the goal England scored against Germany in the 1966 World Cup Final but what Adidas didn’t know is that this was foreshadowing the exact same thing happening to Lampard when England faced Germany in the 2010 World Cup. Only that time Lampard wasn’t awarded the goal.
In hindsight it’s incredible that this commercial manages to have a scene like ties together two different World Cups.
1:48-1:56 – “Jose! Ah casa!”
And isn’t this how every game amongst friends ends? Jose’s mom calls him inside for dinner and Jose takes his ball to go home. The old, if I can’t play anymore neither can you. A hilarious moment that really brings the entire commercial together.
1:57-1:59 – Jose is shown walking off the field with a smile on his face, only there’s no one there except Pedro. And there’s Adidas getting their “Impossible is Nothing” message across. All you need is an imagination and a dream and you can make anything happen.
A tremendous commercial that still stands up to the test of time. There will never be a better soccer commercial.