Brazil and Argentina are the fiercest of rivals, especially on the soccer field. That's what makes J. Walter Thompson Brasil's spot, in which Argentines become super fans learning how to cheer for Brazil, so funny.
Brazil easily qualified for the 2018 World Cup months ago, but Argentina is still fighting for a spot in the qualifying rounds. On Tuesday night, if Brazil beats Chile, Argentina is likely to get a World Cup slot instead of Chile. But, what if Brazil loses?
In JWT Brasil's spot "Torcedores" ("Fans"), Argentine soccer fans gamely but awkwardly struggle to learn the words to Brazil's national anthem so they can cheer on their biggest enemy while watching Tuesday night's game. After tormenting Argentina a bit more, the spot ends gleefully with the words: "The day they thought would never come. Actually did. It's all or nothing. FOR THEM."
Ricardo John, chief creative officer of JWT Brasil, calls the spot for SporTV, the Globosat cable channel that will air the soccer match in Brazil, "a prank." It also makes a game that Brazil doesn't need to win a lot more exciting by emphasizing how Argentina's fate hangs in the balance. (Fun fact: the two directors of the film are from Argentina, and one of them is half Chilean).
There has been speculation that Brazil might go easy on Chile in order to keep a major rival out of the World Cup. There's even a popular hashtag #EntregaBrasil (rough translation: Give it up, Brazil) full of tweets calling on the national team to lose to Chile to screw Argentina.
John, however, says Brazil will play its best and achieve a loftier revenge: "Brazil will play their guts out and Argentineans will have to deal for their whole life with the fact that they only went to the World Cup because Brazil allowed them to."