We don't know where to start with this.
Using footballers to flog stuff is not a new tactic. Who can forget the time joga bonito came to a stuffy airport and inspired a generation of kids to buy Nike kit and start having kickarounds in the departure lounge?* Brilliant stuff. However, it’s pretty rare for an advertiser to get it bang on the money like this, especially when it comes to recreating football and making it look decent (MARS), even when using actual footballers (PEPSI).
We were only put in mind of this due to the Champions League last night. A certain erstwhile purveyor of lager is for some reason a principal sponsor of the ‘worst coverage of football ever’ and so has produced compellingly idiotic little snippets to show just how great and seemingly deluded they are. The action, as you’re probably aware, takes place, quite ridiculously, in some kind of baroque theatre, in which the likelihood of not doing thousands of pounds worth of damage to a listed building must be precisely nil.
So not only is there football taking place in a theatre, it’s being played by just two lads. Who are ACTUAL footballers and, therefore, almost certainly should know better. Unless, as is potentially the case, they saw the word ‘play’ on the outside of the theatre are actually TOO stupid to know any better.
On closer inspection, it’s only bloody Gigi Buffon ‘in goal’. That’s nuts! Buffon! They must have got an unbelievable striker in to have shots at Buffon in a THEATRE. Please let it be Mario Balotelli.
Oh. It’s Clarence Seedorf. Lining up a free kick.
Can he even take free kicks? He’s going to have a bash anyway. Toes first. Leather it Clarence! Top bag son!
Oh, no, it’s going straight at Buffon. In fact he couldn’t have hit that free kick any worse. Straight down his throat. He’s not even going to have to move actually. Just put your hands up and catch it lad. Jesus. I was only joking about the thousands of pounds worth of damage lads. It’s like the time I was only allowed to head a football in a church**
There are even some lads watching. Get your money back lads! All you’re getting is Clarence Seedorf’s awful free kicks. Even the seating plan in the theatre is farcical, with the live audience of three sat in between Seedorf and Buffon – rather than on any of the theatre’s actual chairs – so as soon as Seedorf smacks it one, they have to immediately crane their necks to see if Buffon is going to save it.
Admittedly this isn’t as stupid as that Pepsi advert in which a smorgasbord of footballers appear to play football ON PEOPLE’S HEADS. On the heads of a crowd? Are you serious? And NOWHERE is there a disclaimer saying no audience members were harmed in the making of this commercial. Jack Wilshere is such an arsehole he even SLIDE TACKLES them. SLIDE TACKLES A CROWD’S HEADS. ARE YOU SERIOUS JACK?
But perhaps the best of the crop of outrageously nonsensical football adverts was brought to us courtesy of Fiat back in 2002. I’ll have to insert a disclaimer here due to there being no evidence of this advert seemingly anywhere on the net and more than likely in any adman’s portfolio either, but I can assure you, this advert happened. Ok, so let me set the scene. Francesco Totti is having a knockabout in his back garden. He’s just dicking about. So far, so good.
He’s feigning going past imaginary opponents. He’s just generally having a laugh. But HANG THE FUCK ON THERE. WHAT’S THIS? WHAT HAS ITALY’S FRANCESCO TOTTI JUST SAID? Too late.
Next thing we know, Totti has jumped in his plush little Fiat Stilo – a car I’m reliably informed is very fashionable among multimillionaire footballers in Italy.
Now, in the present, Totti has just received a message from someone saying he was offside. That’s offside in the knockabout he was just having on his own in his own backgarden, which to this day is something I’ve not been able to begin to comprehend. The message is from none other than Emile Heskey, who, and again, for reasons unbeknownst to I’d imagine anyone, including Totti, signs off ‘Emile Heskey’.
And now back to the bit where I wrote ‘WHAT HAS ITALY’S FRANCESCO TOTTI JUST SAID?’
When I first saw this advert – and it was this atmosphere of ‘what it feels like when you first see an advert’ that I was trying to recreate – I could have sworn Totti said “round Emile Hesker.”. Emile Hesker? I know an Emile Heskey, but… HANG ON… WHAT THE FU… and before you know it the advert has swept you onto a narrative arc that incorporates Totti celebrating a goal on his own by shouting “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOALLLL TOTTI”, Totti seemingly and somewhat ludicrously owning a Fiat Stilo, and Emile Heskey, who has somehow become a close friend of Totti’s, not only signing off messages with his full name, which only a psychopath would do, but also somehow knowing that Totti was JUST playing football on his own in his own back garden.
We’d like Brian Cox to answer some of these conundrums because we at Magic Spongers cannot shed light on any of this.
We don’t even know how or why you could manage to rent out a beautiful baroque theatre for the sole purpose of having a bastardised penalty shootout in front of a crowd of three lads being served Heineken by angels. But then again, famously, we don’t like ‘modern football’.
* What no one reports on, of course, are the untold broken limbs, smashed glasses, spoiled meals, crying elderly people and no doubt innumerable missed flights that arose as a result of this total and utter irresponsible anarchy.
** Actually happened