W+K launched a spot for Nike Football (soccer) ahead of the 2016 UEFA European Championship opener tomorrow that is the brand’s largest effort ever.
The spot, entitled “The Switch,” was directed by Ringan Ledwidge and clocks in at nearly six minutes. In addition to Cristiano Ronaldo, who stars in “The Switch,” the ad also includes professional soccer players Raheem Sterling, Joe Hart, Harry Kane, Chris Smalling, John Stones, Ross Barkley, Ricardo Quaresma, Andre Gomes, Jose Fonte, Cedric Soares, Vieirinha, Raphael Varane, Anthony Martial and Javier Mascherano. Did you get all that?
“The Switch” implied in the title occurs when Ronaldo crashes into a young fan and they switch bodies, Freaky Friday-style. Not the most original premise, granted, but it works. After the collision, Ronaldo, as the boy, works his way back up to becoming a superstar until they eventually meet for the inevitable conclusion.
All told it makes for a pretty entertaining spot, even if the story could have been told in about half the time. The premise allows for the loads of on field footage to have emotional significance beyond the match itself and everything is presented with the stylish flair we’ve come to expect from these types of big budget Nike spots. Avid fans might not even mind the extended runtime, as, while there are plenty of flashes of Nike sportswear, it manages to find a nice balance of promoting the brand without being in your face about it. With the excitement of the upcoming tournament and the sheer star power involved, this spot would be guaranteed a ton of views even if it was a complete creative failure, so it’s especially refreshing that W+K was able to pull off something of this caliber instead.