My recent post about commercials that I find irritating might have led one to believe that I’m annoyed by commercials in general, but that’s really not the case. I find advertising sort of fascinating, and I get real enjoyment out of a well-made television commercial. In an effort to balance negativity with positivity, here are my thoughts on a few I’ve liked lately.
The ESPN campaign for the FIFA World Cup has a simple goal: alert unaware Americans, of which I’m sure there are quite a few, that the World Cup is coming soon and it will be televised on ESPN. They do that quite well, but they also accomplish a couple of secondary things, most notably convince skeptical American non-soccer fans that this is a really big deal and worthy of their attention, and get Americans that are already interested in soccer absolutely, foaming-at-the-mouth, crazy excited about it.
The first ad I saw them air is a nice, concise 30-second spot featuring footage from World Cups past and a simple voiceover. The key here, for me at least, is the use of “City of Blinding Lights” by U2, which is just the perfect song. It was also famously employed during the introduction of Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for President back in 2008, a totally goosebump-inducing moment for me. I feel like a memo went out to all of the people that score things like this that this should be their go-to song.