It’s an understatement to say sports marketing has exploded over the last decade—up to nearly $150 billion this year, according to PwC. Athletes are bona-fide superstars, around which so much advertising is built. So it’s no surprise that Clios is launching its first-ever Clio Sports awards competition this year to celebrate the surging industry. Featuring a jury made up of some of the biggest names in the business—from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to Michael Levine, co-head of CAA Sports, to Brian Jennings, evp and CMO of The National Hockey League—Clio Sports will host its first awards ceremony in New York on July 17. Here’s a small sampling of Clio winners in the last five years.
Coca-Cola ‘Security Cameras’
Coca-Cola asks viewers to "look at the world a little differently," and through the unblinking eyes of security cameras, we are given a very emotional reminder of all the good that's in the world. Clearly the message resonated with Clio voters, as the spot nabbed a silver in 2013.
Volkswagen ‘The Force’
Possibly the most beloved Super Bowl spot of all time—or at least tied with Coke’s iconic Mean Joe Greene spot in the ’70s—VW crushed the competition in 2011, winning Clio Gold. A junior Darth Vader tries in vain to effect change on his surroundings using The Force, until his father returns home in his Passat and aids Vader Jr. in starting the car. Critics and Clio voters alike fell in love with the childlike enthusiasm and happy outcome.
Mercedes Benz ‘Soul’
Willem Dafoe is perfectly cast as a sharp-nailed Devil who—to the tune of Sympathy for the Devil—tempts a young man to sell his soul. Featuring cameos from Kate Upton and Usher, this ad killed it thanks to a terrific twist ending that sends Dafoe up in smoke. It won a Clio Gold in 2013.
In a powerful animated spot, a Trojan horse trick sends a giant ice dragon to thwart the attack of a fire-breathing dragon. The ice dragon melts, revealing a bottle of Coca-Cola inside, for which the fire dragon is no match. Peace and fireworks ensue. It took a silver Clio in 2011.
Volkswagen ‘The Dog Strikes Back’
Trying to hitchhike on the comet tail of its stellar 2011 Star Wars-themed Super Bowl spot, Volkswagen puts a Vaderific twist on an already-funny storyline of a dog who's put on a few too many pounds. The spot focuses on the company’s 2012 Beetle, which the brand designed to be more "fun to drive," and it was shortlisted by Clio.
Coca Cola ‘Heist’
Making excellent use of Prokofiev’s Peter & the Wolf, this spot evokes a hot summer day, for which Coke is the only relief. Unfortunately for our recumbent protagonist, a group of insects join forces to steal the bottle away and open rivulets of sugary joy. In 2009, this received a silver Clio.