Nike's World Cup ad is out, and this year it takes an evergreen theme in sports advertising -- the question of "who is the G.O.A.T.?" -- and mashes it up with another topical motif, the metaverse.
Perhaps hoping to appeal to fans both young and old, the four-and-a-half-minute film from Wieden+Kennedy Portland sees a bunch of scientists in Geneva (where all top scientists reside, apparently) decide to run a live experiment to see who the best soccer player is, bringing in stars of the past as well as current players to battle out in a virtual "footballverse." It's set to the soundtrack “Weird Science,” written by Danny Elfman and performed by Oingo Boingo.
Nike athletes appearing, both male and female, include Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Cristiano Ronaldo, CR Jr., Edgar Davids, Kevin De Bruyne, Kylian Mbappé, Leah Williamson, Phil Foden, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo Nazário, Sam Kerr, Shane Kluivert and Virgil van Dijk. Soccer fans will love all the fandom references, including the appearance of a (fictional) Japanese anime character from “Inazuma Eleven,” and the different looks of the players, including haircuts past.
The campaign, directed by Megaforce via Iconoclast, will also air on TV in a 60 second cutdown across global markets.
According to a Nike blogpost, the campaign "exemplifies Nike’s long-standing belief that the future of sport has infinite potential — and encourages a new generation of footballers to prove it."
Meanwhile, the metaverse doesn't only feature in the ad; soccer fans will also be able to visit a "Footballverse experience" in Nikeland on Roblox.