In its launch spot for soccer videogame "FIFA 18," EA Sports takes a new "skill move" created for Ronaldo in the game and spins it into a worldwide cultural phenomenon.
The ad, by Adam&Eve/DDB, begins with a gamer, playing as Ronaldo, coming up with what becomes known as the "El Tornado" move. (Actually created by the agency and EA Sports, the in-game feat is described by the brand as a "seamless dragback, flick, and spinning volley.") In the spot, the player uploads it for the review of the FIFA 18 community and it goes viral around the world. First bloggers and ordinary players try it, uploading their attempts to social media. And of course, Ronaldo himself tries it and fails -- at first.
The skill takes off and becomes an internet sensation and meme, and we see other soccer players Antoine Griezmann and Dele Alli try it, as well as athletes from other sports, like NBA superstar James Harden.
Meanwhile we see glimpses of brands such as Adidas and Coke developing their own "El Tornado" content, and rap duo Run the Jewels create their own bespoke track; "Mean Demeanor (El Tornado Mix)." It's all going so crazy it looks as if it's about to break the internet, when we return to the original gamers still enjoying their FIFA on the sofa.
Directed by Smuggler's Adam Berg, Ii's a vibrant, rollicking blockbuster of a spot -- whose pacing and frenetic energy is reminiscent of famous sports marketer ads.
It's not just about the ad, though. In real life, if other professional players prove that they can replicate the move in training, EA Sports can unlock the skill for their virtual likeness in the game.