That’s right, people! It’s World Cup time! Time for all you football and hockey fans to appreciate an unboring sport for once! Now, by the time you read this, the games most likely will have already begun. Now, if you live in the same time zone as yer old buddy iamwhaleman, that means games start soooooper early in the morning…like, 4:30 in the morning on days when there are early games in South Africa. On the plus side, however, that means that if yer old pal iamwhaleman decides to get up and go watch the game somewhere, it’ll only be like 80 degrees here in the PHX. So that’s cool.
I’ve been adding to this post all week as I find cooler and cooler World Cup stuff to share witchall…so let’s dance, people! It’s World Cup time!
Check out this super-cool World Cup calendar tingy. It’s pretty damn sweet, design-wise, although I think the matches for the first day (June 11) should appear in the 2nd and 3rd columns, as they take place in the 2nd and 3rd time slots for the day. Otherwise, no quibbles. Here it is:
ESPN has a pretty sweet set of poster-type deals they had designed for each country that can be seen here. To pique your interest, here is the All-Nations one:
The individual country ones are pretty cool too (although some of them are kinda weird…Australia, for example).
Alright, so we all know that some of the highlights of the World Cup come from advertisements…like this stuff that Umbro did in England. Apparently they have some sort of “Tailored in England” campaign going on around the WC, so they went to each England player’s hometown and painted a wall somewhere in that town with a white (or green) background and a red (or white) jersey number with a “Tailored in [Town Name]” script on the bottom. They’re super-cool…here’s the collection of them from The Guardian:
Really nifty concept, I think, and really well executed. I love that they didn’t just throw up a billboard in each of those towns; they found a unique place to paint that makes for a diverse and unique campaign. This one is my favorite:
Bitchin’. I also like that The Guardian made the filename for that picture a-big-red-number-on-a-wall. Good stuff, the British.
But enough with the still pictures already…let’s get to some film action!
I dig this ad from ESPN…sums up the whole “one-world” aspect of the World Cup. Call me sentimental…or a big wuss, but I like it:
And there’s more ESPN where that came from. Seriously, ESPN has done such a good job with the pre-World Cup business, I may stop hating them…at least for a couple weeks. No wait–I just watched a couple of hours (no really, I did) of their WC preview show, which featured some good analysis from Alexi Lalas and a coupla furreners, but had way too much Mike Tirico and Bob Ley doing a wholesale ripoff of NBC’s Olympic coverage. I mean, they weren’t sitting in front of a fireplace…but this might’ve been worse. Their set was absolutely awful. It looked like maybe they imported their set designer from the ’50s and told him to imagine what South Africa might look like. I’ve never seen quite so obvious a connection between ESPN and Disney. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there, because they make ads like this:
Pretty cool. It’s like “Invictus” in a minute. Alright, so here’s kind of a weird one from adidas. It feels a little bit odd, doesn’t it? The whole “poor black kids playing soccer barefoot on the beach” angle? And apparently, it was filmed on Long Island. Nice work, adidas:
But if you thought, that was weird, then I am proud to present to you an adidas commercial that appears to have absolutely nothing to do with soccer whatsoever. Maybe adidas forgot the World Cup was this year and decided to just make a really cool commercial. Yeah, that’s the ticket:
Yeah, that’s really weird. Ok, so I also wanted to share a Pepsi commercial. Now, there are a whole series of these with guys like Henry and Messi and Kaka and Whozits and Et cetera wearing these horrid Africanish shirts with big Pepsi logos in the center. They’re universally bad. Here’s one:
I warned you.
Ok, I saved the best for last: the Nike ad. You may have seen this already, but if you have, you know it’s worth watching again. And if you haven’t seen it, it’s absolutely worth watching. It’s so much better than the Tim Lincecum-decapitated unicorn video that I really thought people would appreciate but apparently the desert heat has been frying my brain. Anyway, this ad is awesome. I could watch it over and over and over…and have, in fact. It was directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and features all sorts of cameos from soccer players…Roger Federer…Kove Bryant…Homer Simpson…it’s so good. Watch it. And then watch some soccer. It’s so good.
(Oh, and I’ll be back later Friday with a rant about an article I read that was really, REALLY stupid. Stay tuned.)