The World Cup's June 12 kickoff is approaching fast, and Adidas is extremely excited. And in this new ad for the brand—which has 28 million YouTube views since Saturday—Argentina's Lionel Messi, a top Adidas endorser, is having a bad dream. Or is it a good one?
Competitors like Brazil's Dani Alves and Uruguay's Luis Suarez are up late drilling. Fans are taunting. Reporters are thronging. Even the horses carrying riot police are shuffling nervously, as crowds go wild. And in the background, an as-yet-unreleased Kanye West song titled "God Level" is playing.
Gods are probably not as anxious as the spot, from TBWA\Chiat\Day, which aims to capture the sense of mounting pressure through rapid-fire edits and the fits and starts of the drumbeat on the West track.
Whether it succeeds in building suspense, or just flits by, may depend on how much you care about soccer, and how quickly you parse the dense parade of would-be deities, or how bored you get with fast-paced soccer ad tropes.
Game of Thrones fans may blink twice when Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger sends a flock of crows scattering from a treetop in a snowy forest.
In the end, at least some of the ad's heroes win by finding the back of the net. Celebrations ensue. Messi looks pointedly at the camera, because what's he got to worry about?
The tagline, "All in or nothing," offers a literal choice—the spot ends with two buttons. Click "All in," and see more high-energy scenes, and a solicitation to follow Adidas's World Cup Twitter accounts (@adidasfootball, @TeamMessi and @brazuca, the official game ball) or to join its mailing list.
Click "Nothing," and face a sequence of barren landscapes, beat-up soccer balls and the chance click the same button two more times, before it takes you to a button that allows you to unfollow the brand's World Cup properties.
It should get some points for honesty, though. Really, what soccer may come down to is worshipping celebrities so you can be spammed by a marketer.