Last year, TBWA\Chiat\Day crafted a farewell to Yankees captain Derek Jeter for Gatorade which was easily one of the most memorable sports ads of the year. Now, with women’s soccer legend Abby Wambach retiring (she played her final game last night with the U.S. National Team facing off in an exhibition against China in New Orleans), the agency sends her off with a tearful 60-second spot entitled “Forget Me.”
“Forget me, forget my number, forget my name, forget I ever existed…” Wambach says via voiceover at the opening of the spot, while sitting in front of her locker and rummaging through mementos. “I want to leave a legacy where the ball keeps rolling forward,” she explains, “where the next generation accomplishes things so great that I am no longer remembered.”
It’s a (some might say overly) dramatic approach, which sees the U.S. soccer legend expressing a simultaneously somber and hopeful sentiment. Footage of young enthusiasts of the sport training hard leads in to Gatorade’s “Win From Within” tagline to end the ad with a look towards the future. Wambach’s emotional delivery makes the message seem genuine and it’s hard to imagine many of her fans watching without tearing up at least a little, while the unusual nature of its opening line and subsequent development make the ad memorable for viewers with only a passing familiarity with the athlete. TBWA\Chiat\Day certainly seems to have a way with goodbyes.