Unprofessional Foul


June 1, 2010

Puma > Nike

Yeah, we all loved the Nike ad, what with its star power and polished production values. No doubt that it touched all the expected emotional points, told a story, etc.

However, if I’m Wieden+Kennedy, I’m looking at Puma’s “World Cup” ad and wishing I could infuse that much soul into my own commercials. Puma focuses on African soccer, gives a much stronger pastiche of images (at least to me) and tells a much more intriguing tale. Rather than forcing themselves into the narrative, or even just inventing their own narrative a la Nike, the Puma folks let the story tell itself. We get flashes of recognizable faces — Emmanuel Eboue dancing in a tunnel, Samuel Eto’o training, Gervinho celebrating a goal, etc — but more importantly, we get a glimpse of soccer in Africa. Manicured and framed as it might be, it’s a damn sight more genuine than Nike’s fantasy world.

And, most surprising of all to me, I didn’t mind the Gnarls Barkley song! (overplay of their first single kinda killed the phenomenon for me there)

Check it out. If you’re like me, you’ll watch it like 5 times back-to-back.

About the Author

James T


  1. ebullientfatalist

    Ebouesaurus has rhythm!

  2. ebullientfatalist

    Also, I’m seriously considering buying an Eboue shirt for this coming season.

  3. wacman1389

    @EF, You haven’t already? He’s the PASSMASTER

  4. Ned

    All about the music, like an ad agency mood tape. Great track.

  5. Carl Bromley

    the Puma ad I think will just go down as one of the all time great ads. it has, as JT says, beauty and soul. does anyone know who directed it?

  6. The Fan's Attic

    this was the ad agency who created it.


  7. Precious Roy

    Even without audio, that thing is three kinds of awesome. Makes me want an African side to make it to the finals just to see how that country reacts. Love the footage of the kids in the abandoned diving/swim pool.

  8. It’s an amazing ad, and I think the song totally makes it.

    Both Puma and Nike kick adidas’ ass with their campaigns.

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