Posted by: joha5 | June 4, 2010

The Top 8 Best World Cup Commercials in the World

The World Cup begins in a week’s time and I don’t think I could possibly be more excited.  My excitement has recently reached its peak because every time time I turn on the television or open up a newspaper all I see is that the globe is going World Cup crazy.  I see interviews with players, with coaches, with dignitaries.  I see people making predictions, injury reports, and narratives between countries playing each other.  But what I see most of – and probably find the most enjoyable – are the commercials building up the hype for the World Cup. 

The biggest event that we have here in the United States is obviously the Super Bowl that now happens on the first weekend every February.  Millions upon millions of people watch the game both at home and abroad.  In fact, a survey done last year finds that more people now actually watch the Super Bowl for the commercials rather than the game itself.  This is not hard to fathom.  The commercials are excellent.  But once every four years there is that little event called the World Cup where millions and millions watch on top of billions more.  If there is one truly global sporting event – other than the olympics – it is the World Cup.  And if you thought that the commercials for the Super Bowl were good then you haven’t seen anything yet.  There are dozens and dozens already in existence but here is a selection of some of the most incredible commercials I have ever seen. 

This one is just incredible.  I don’t even want to think about how much money was spent on it though.  Take a look…

While the previous one plays on the location of the this years World Cup in South Africa, this one dramatizes the ‘special relationship’ between the United States and England by playing on patriotic sympathies from either side of the pond.  if this doesn’t get you excited to watch the England and USA match next Saturday then I don’t know what will.

This next one forgets specific historical narratives and just focuses on global conflict instead.  You would think it would be depressing but it turns out to be incredibly inspiring by the end.  One month to heal them all.

If you thought that the United States and England had a ‘special relationship’, can you imagine what the relationship between Germany and England is?  The result is absolutely hilarious and – by far – one of the best commercials that I have seen in as long as I can remember. 

This one draws on South Africa’s history by looking at the role of soccer (football) in their national culture and even the role it played during the end of Apartheid.  Plus Morgan freeman makes a small cameo so you know it has got to be good.  Pretty incredible stuff if you ask me.

What’s that you say?  Wildlife and Soccer?  How can you possibly go wrong?!  The answer: you can’t.

Have you ever wondered how the actual act of viewing an event has changed over the decades?  Was it different watching television in the 1970s than the 1990s?  How has technology and culture changed the way we gather together to watch, celebrate, and mourn?  Well, now you have your answer.

And finally – just for good measure – I am going to include one of my favorite commercials of all time.  It has been watched more than 12 million times on Youtube already and I even posted a long post examining it more closely last week entitled “Writing the Future: Iñárritu  and the Global Game” for those of you that missed it and are interested in learning more about it. 

Do you have a favorite commercial that I have listed on here?  Maybe you have one that you would like to share?  If you do then please feel free to e-mail me or to leave a comment (with or without a link) and I will be sure to add it on to this post.  Just think.  In less than a week we have a month-long period that will be full of pure joy, competition, passion, and bliss.  God.  I cannot wait.



  1. I don’t watch soccer but my partner is crazy about it. Especially the English league. But somehow I always watch the world cup even if it’s telecast in the middle of the night. It’s just so exciting.

    • I couldn’t agree more. I mean, I like to watch it in throughout the year anyway but it is so hard to find on television here in the United States. But when the World Cup comes on something just totally takes over me. The different global powers competing against each other in a game seems to really capture my imagination…and it sounds like it does with your’s too! I hope you had an excellent weekend and thanks for posting as always!!

  2. Hi Jon
    My ex son-in-law produced the Nike commercial that you so love, and when we were in Detroit back in April, Sam, my eight year old grandson who is obsessed with football and a really good player, had just visited his Dad in Chicago and been given an exclusive, top secret preview of the film. He then recounted the whole thing second for second, not missing the tiniest bit. I knew then that it was going to be a bit special.
    Have fun

    • Hey Bill! I cannot BELIEVE that your ex son-in-law produced that commercial! He must be an extremely talented and intelligent guy. I don’t even view that whole thing as a commercial. To me, it is like a short piece of artwork. And how unbelievably cool is it that Sam got to be one of the first people in the world to watch it?! I don’t know if I am more impressed with that or the fact that he was able to recount every scene in the commercial. Thanks so much for filling me in on this. I now somehow strangely feel closer to this commercial than I did before!

  3. You might also like this one:
    The two comics are ‘Little Britain’ , a show that’s very big over here, and these are two of their regular characters. Have fun. Bill.

    • Hahahaha! I hadn’t seen that before and I essentially need life support after watching it! Little Britain used to be one of my all time favorite shows until it got a bit samey by the third season (I think they only did 3, is that right?). Thanks so much for sharing that! It looks like I am going to have to make this list the Top 9 instead!

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