The Top 5 Soccer Commercials Of All Time

We count down the best soccer commercials of all time from some of the biggest brands and agencies in the world – with a little help from an award-winning creative director.

We recently had a debate here at The18 about the best soccer commercials of all time. Of course, this isn't the first time we've tackled the subject. Early in 2017, we took a look at some of our favorite soccer commercials from the past year.

When it came down to picking the best soccer commercials of all time, though, we struggled. Some argued that Nike's "The Last Game" deserved a place on the list based on it's amazing animation and cast of world-class footballers. Others argued that adidas' "There Will Be Haters" commercials deserved a place based on their attitude and memorability. Neither ended up making the list.

We enlisted the help of an award-winning creative director to settle the debate. Luckily for us, he's just down the hall. We talked to TJ Rhine, Chief Creative Officer of brand strategy and advertising agency (and, incidentally, our sister company) Greenhouse Partners. After a review of 20+ candidates for the title of "best soccer commercial of all time," he picked five and shared his thoughts on why each belongs on the list. Check out his thoughts below and watch each commercial in full on the list that follows. And, feel free to tell us if you disagree with our picks.

The 5 Best Soccer Commercials Of All Time

5
Gatorade | Don't Go Down

Without question, Lionel Messi is one of the greatest soccer players of all time and famous for never going down. He's also famous for not talking all that much.

The beauty of this commercial is that, without saying anything, Messi conveys an inspiring message about how he plays and lives. He fights on no matter what – no matter how many times he's pulled back and pulled down. This message is valuable for all his fans, but also more broadly. It’s about not giving up on your dreams. Gatorade is able to simply yet boldly connect to this message by simply showing Messi and his style of play.

4
Cree | Shoot The Lights Out

Cree found an interesting, engaging way to pitch their product. Instead of having a famous personality sell their product with words, they hired soccer superstar, Abby Wambach, to validate and show the difference between bad lights and good lights. You see her kick off all the bad lights, which leaves her standing in darkness until the Cree lights turn on and “light a better way.”

 

3
EA Sports | FIFA Street 3

In 2008, FIFA expanded their brand into the streets. They did a great job of recruiting talented young players and expanding their "pro-soccer only" image . They also pulled off an incredible stunt by using computer generated graphics to produce many of the exraordinary sequences, but in a way where many believed these sequnces were real. The mix of martial arts, soccer and music makes it hard to sit back and ignore. You can’t beat that energy. It just makes you want to go out and play.  

2
ESPN | This Is SportsCenter

ESPN hit the bullseye with these commercials. They brought sports into everyday life with the "This Is SportsCenter" campaign, while using humor to attract a new audience to their flagship series. Now everyone has their favorite. Moreover, since these commercials were introduced in the early 2000s, SportsCenter has become a household name.

1
Nike | Ronaldinho Crossbar

This is perhaps the most iconic soccer commercial of Nike's iconic "Joga Bonito" campaign. From the minute you see the gold briefcase, you can’t help but wonder what's inside. And then Ronaldinho puts on the golden boots and starts playing ping-pong off the crossbar. It's still just believable enough today to question whether Ronaldinho actually did it. Is it Ronaldinho or is it the boots? Either way, it’s the best soccer commercial of all time.

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