On a list of the most ridiculous marketing jobs, writing the biographies of mascots must rank pretty high. Visiting FIFA and Yahoo!’s official World Cup 2006 Web site, we stumbled upon the section devoted to Goleo VI the lion and Pille the talking soccer ball—a pair of comic characters, according to FIFA, not unlike Laurel and Hardy or Asterix and Obelisk from the old French comic books. The site has more info about these two than about Franz Beckenbauer. Among the choice biographical tidbits: “Both are rapier-sharp and witty, and never miss a chance to put one over on the other.” “Goleo VI has nothing against trousers, but he doesn’t understand all the fuss about whether he should wear them or not.” “[Pille] would prefer to do everything himself—if only he could, because there are lots of things you can’t do when you don’t have arms or legs.” And perhaps our favorite: “Pille’s first loves are football, flying and women.” Meantime, there’s something a bit lacking about the World Cup’s official poster (shown here). Several of the other four finalists (click on the link and scroll down) seem better.
—Posted by Tim Nudd