Nike’s Dramatic New World Cup Ad Will Give You Chills

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Nike made a new World Cup ad. It’s really, really well done. But does it top 2010’s iconic spot? That we doubt.

The new spot, embedded above and produced by Wieden+Kennedy, focuses on Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Brazil’s Neymar Jr. and England’s Wayne Rooney. It shows each steeling himself for a big match and is centered around a premise of “Risk Everything” with the tagline, “Pressure shapes legends.”

The soundtrack, moody lighting and pace all add up to the typically excellent advertising fare we expect from Nike and the creative agency that coined “Just Do It.”

But watch the spot again. Notice anything funny? It doesn’t actually mention the World Cup at all. The superstar faces, the international jerseys and the overall atmosphere simply nudge us to make that assumption. So why would Nike not want to mention one of the world’s biggest sporting events by name? Well, the World Cup is sponsored by one of its chief rivals, Adidas.

Nike did the same omission in its wildly popular “Write the Future” spot ahead of the 2010 World Cup. That ad ran three minutes long and played like a miniature surrealist film, showing some of the game’s most famous players living out alternately glorious and miserable futures depending on how they performed in important (and fictional) matches.

“Write the Future” won the prestigious Grand Prix award at Cannes in 2010, and is one of the coolest ads we’ve ever seen. You can watch it right here:

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