It’s the eve of the World Cup, so we thought we should talk about the most important thing to do with it: advertising!

Only joking, we know it’s not the most important thing, that’s the Fantasy Football league we’re running in the office, but we ARE going to talk about advertising - it's kind of what we do.

In particular we’re going to look at the best and worst World Cup-associated advertising that we can remember… The list has been shortlisted by Mat and voted on by the team in the office today. Yes, it really is that scientific & official.

Some of you may be asking why we’re getting involved in the World Cup with a blog post on it when we focus on domestic football in England, Wales & Scotland. We say, why not jump on the World Cup bandwagon – everyone else is.

Before we go anywhere, this gives us the chance to honour and remember the best football advert ever made, regardless of its non-association with the World Cup:

Sky Sports PL coverage 1996/1997 with Sean Bean

But that's enough about my man crush of late-90's Sean Bean...

So without further a-do let's get on with our top eight (sorry, we got a bit bored at eight) all-time best World Cup football advertisements ever!! (I'm very excited, can you tell?).

In joint seventh place we have two entrants from the same company. Nike are renowned for their World Cup advertising, and I remember reading a study somewhere that asked people who they thought were an official FIFA World Cup sponsor, Adidas or Nike. And guess what? Adidas were/are the partner but people thought it was Nike simply because of their surrounding advertising. Advertising like these two great pieces of content:

Nike Secret Tournament 2002

Nike ‘Good v Evil’ 1996

In sixth place we've got this from an official partner of multiple FIFA World Cups, McDonald's.

I'm not sure if this is the best ad in the world, but as it features one of our favourite midfielders from the 2000's (Scott Parker), it makes the cut:

McDonald’s and Scott Parker 1994

Next we've got a beer brand from 2010. Not the best World Cup in my book, in fact this advert made me feel a bit better about the whole thing. I think it was the vuvuzela's that did it for me. That and the fact England were poor in scraping in to the knockout stages after draws against Algeria and the U.S.A., only to get bashed up by Germany 4-1 in the second round (when Lampard scored but didn't score if memory serves correct).

Anyway, we liked this effort because it reminded us that we're pretty good at sport when we take a step back and think about it - Redgrave, Fogarty, Taylor etc...

Carlsberg Team Talk 2010

I've lost count now, but I think we're at number 4 on our countdown. And that means another entry for Nike (it's almost as if they spend millions and millions of pounds a year making advertising isn't it):

Nike ‘Winner Stays On’ 2014

So to number 3. Some call this slot the bronze medal position. In this countdown we'll call it winner of the third-place play-off (what's the point of those by the way?). And this one is the most recent one our list, fresh from Lidl's association with the FA. I liked it because it showed the talent involved (Raheem Sterling, Gary Cahill & Kyle Walker) as being decent, normal people. Well done Lidl.

Now to the first placed loser. They've made their way through the group stages, three rounds of knockout matches and then lost. They are losing finalists. AND IT'S ONLY ANOTHER ONE FROM NIKE ISN'T IT!?!??

But hopefully you'll agree this is a really good one, from France 1998 following the Brazil team that Nike sponsor as they check in at the airport to get the plane to Paris.

Most people think this was a structured/planned shoot but actually was shot completely naturally - this is how Ronaldo, Roberto et al always check in at the airport even when the cameras aren't rolling (it's really annoying for other passengers) although maybe not now as they are all about 50 I guess. Enjoy...

Nike ‘Airport’ 1998

Well done, you made it to the end. How on earth did you get this far? Well seeing you're here we'd better tell you who won!!

And this really was the runaway winner in the office vote. It had it all, and if you don't believe me just read this list (yes we made a list):

Nostalgia - tick

World Cup legends - tick

Bacon sandwiches - tick

Chris Waddle-related banter - tick

Beer - tick

And, seriously for a second, some performances from some of the people who make football so great for us who are no longer with us.

Probably the best World Cup advert in the world.

Carlsberg ‘Old Lions’ 2006

That’s it! COME ON ENGLAND!!

And remember if you would like to continue football-advertising-fever in to the 2018/2019 domestic season, the Stadia Solutions are ideally placed to help you with our advertising posters in 39 professional clubs across the country from Celtic in the north to Portsmouth in the south, including concourse TV systems in eleven of them. Get in touch with us to see how we can get your advertising in front of up to 400k fans a week…


PS - James in the office says this needs to go on the list even though it's not an advert:

Comic Relief & the England football team