While eating my breakfast of Sugar Puffs, Walkers cheese & onion and Carlsberg this morning, I was thinking about the start of my team’s football season. I’m a Newcastle United fan so that means the start of the season is tonight. Away at Fulham. It’s been nearly 12 weeks since their last competitive game. I’m excited. Football is pretty much all I can think about, and that’s the origin of this blog.
A few weeks ago, during Euro 2016, I wasn’t the only football fan enjoying Nike’s ‘The Switch’ advertising campaign. The campaign told the story of Cristiano Ronaldo’s body switch with a ball boy following a collision. The full ad is a six-minute film full of football action, skills, excitement and humour. It features cameos from a further 16 professional footballers and Ronaldo’s filming alone took five days. Production standards are high and the world of football (from training and playing to teammates and fans) is the main focus. Clearly I liked the advert but why was I eating Sugar Puffs, Walkers cheese & onion and Carlsberg for breakfast?
Thinking about all my favourite adverts featuring footballers, most of them aren’t the Nike, Adidas or Pepsi Max epics I can vaguely remember but haven’t stuck in my mind (although the Nike ’98 airport advert is an exception). They stand out for the celebrity endorsement alone. Most footballers are not actors so if anything these adverts are enjoyable for how terrible they seem but some of my selection are over 20 years old. If I still remember them now, surely they’ve done their job.
10. Don’t Let it Drive You Mad
Sadly, this might be how I come to remember Joe Hart. It’s not a patch on the Jenson Button one. No wonder Santander snapped him up.
9. Get the Big Fella Off the Bench
The good old days when Kevin Keegan brought silverware to St James’ Park. In this advert for Sugar Puffs.
8. Be Smart. Be Safe.
I wasn’t actually around for the first airing of this advert in 1976 but what a great job Kev seemed to be doing back then. This advert and his steamy advert for Brut were probably brought to my attention around about the time he teamed up with the Honey Monster.
7. Welcome Home
As a 13 year old, I genuinely wanted to welcome Gary Lineker home. I would’ve let him have my crisps then.
6. There’s No Better Bacon
“Some people get nostalgic for how things used to be…” That’s the opening line of Peter Schmeichel’s song about bacon and precisely how I feel about a time that gave me adverts such as this one.
5. Probably the Best Pub Team in the World
I’m not 100% sure this Saatchi & Saatchi ad fits alongside the rest of these as it involves a fair bit of football played by some England legends. But it is one of my favourites, it does make me smile and I needed to explain the earlier Carlsberg reference.
4. Return of the Fan
This was Citroen’s gift to Arsenal fans at the end of the 2014/15 season. It’s the story of where fans go once the season is over. It’s a reworking of Return of the Mack, features the line “Dad go pack your bags, yeah we’re off to Camber Sands” and shows off Per Mertesaker’s dance moves. I watch it regularly.
Wayne Rooney’s first appearance in my list involves Professor X recruiting him for his intensity and incredible focus. He also features in this Deadpool advert.
2. Dennis Bergkamp loved his train set
Reebok’s adverts from 1997/98 imagined what if Dennis Bergkamp, Andy Cole, Ryan Giggs and Peter Schmeichel hadn’t worn Reebok boots as youngsters. Dennis’ was the best.
1. I Don’t Want Socks
Here’s Wayne again. This time Gerard Pique is the star but Rooney stakes his claim for best supporting actor. You can watch Pique say “I don’t want socks” for five minutes here if you wish to.