Baseball has its World Series, and the winners of the Super Bowl call themselves "world champions." But for truly global reach, for sheer numbers of fans, it doesn't get any bigger than the World Cup. The last time the tournament was held, in 2014, more than 3 billion people tuned in to watch--and we're just 30 days out from this year's games.
To get Americans hyped for a sport most U.S. fans don't watch, Fox Sports and Wieden & Kennedy New York have begun a blistering media onslaught, centered on a 90-second, star-studded spot that plays up the amazing things to come.
Argentinian player Lionel Messi becomes an anime "god" with blue hair, Manchester United teammates Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial become rivals as avatars in the EA Sports FIFA '18 video game and NBA player Joel Embiid shows that even fans of other sports love the World Cup.
In yet another random appearance in the leadup to "Deadpool 2," Ryan Reynolds chides David Beckham, and boxing legend Evander Holyfield takes a dig at Uruguayan player Luis Suarez (who's been accused of biting on the field). Alex Morgan of the U.S. Women's National Team also makes an appearance in the gym (the women's tournament is next year).
Other spots touch on Mexico's "curse," the Messi/Ronaldo rivalry and Ronaldo's goals. The anthem spot debuted today on Fox stations--including FOX, FS1, FX and National Geographic, and it will run during the NBA Western Conference Finals on May 16. Matt Aselton directed via Arts & Sciences.