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Bud, Miller Kick Off Soccer Ads

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Two Hispanic marketing agencies introduce television spots this week for beer sponsors in anticipation of the 2002 World Cup.

With the final qualifying round of matches under way, two spots from Ornelas & Associates here promote Budweiser's status as an official sponsor of the World Cup.

In both ads, a rooster strolls along a fence in the predawn darkness. Instead of crowing, it shouts "Goal!" in the style of broadcast soccer commentators in Central and Latin America. The spots play off the fact that the cup will be contested in Japan and Korea, with matches seen in the U.S. during early morning hours.

"It really captures the passion for soccer," said agency president and chief executive officer Victor Ornelas. "Regardless what time they play those matches, Latinos are going to be watching."

Spots created by LatinWorks of San Antonio on behalf of Miller Genuine Draft, sponsor of the Mexican national team, take a more emotional approach.

Under creative director Sergio Alcocer, three highly cinematic vignettes show the players in the locker room after the game. In one, a player takes off his shirt and wraps himself in the national flag as the voiceover says, "Todo por Mexico" ("Everything for Mexico"). Closeups of bloodied knees and aching feet predominate.

"We were trying to leverage the emotion of the game and the struggle of the players," Alcocer said. "We want to create the return of a hero from war."

Both the Miller and Budweiser spots will run on Spanish-language network television in the U.S.

LatinWorks also launches its latest series of regular Hispanic-targeted spots for Miller Genuine Draft this week. All three ads feature highly-charged seduction scenarios. Sensuality, mystery and "coolness" are the focus, Alcocer said.

"The beer industry abandoned sensuality some years ago," he said. "It's all inundated with humor; it has turned into a comedy. This is a way to have a unique position."