Nike has debuted the longest-ever brand film for Nike Football, a star-studded effort in which soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo gives a bravura acting performance as a young fan is transported into his body.
The six-minute film, "The Switch," was created by Wieden & Kennedy and directed by Rattling Stick's Ringan Ledwidge (whose previous Nike work includes Winner Stays). It tells what happens when Ronaldo collides with a ball boy at a match, and the two somehow swap bodies, in the long-running tradition of movies like "Big" or "Freaky Friday."
Next morning, a bewildered Ronaldo wakes up as a teenage boy in a terraced British house, with his mom driving him off to play soccer in a playground. Meanwhile the boy, Charlie Lee (played by 16-year-old newcomer Gerson Correia Adua), wakes up to a luxury mansion, a supercar, and a training session as Ronaldo. After some comedic moments, both rise to the challenge of their new lives -- which include learning Portuguese and learning to drive -- until there's an opportune moment for them to meet again.
According to Nike, "The Switch" is the most extensive brand shoot Ronaldo has ever done, for any company, requiring five days of filming. What's more, Ronaldo performed his own stunts in the initial collision scene, which was done in just three takes.
We reckon his acting could give fellow soccer great David Beckham (whose repertoire has improved considerably in recent ads) a run for his money, should he ever turn to performing. The film, meanwhile, is an entertaining effort that will appeal to soccer fans of all ages.