Ad of the Day: Coke and Pepsi Storm the Field With Dueling World Cup Campaigns

One grand, one playful

World Cup fever is heating up fast. Soon you'll need one of the globe's two major soda brands to help you cool down.

Following the release of Nike's new soccer ad on Tuesday, Coca-Cola and Pepsi both unveiled their own tributes to futbol on Wednesday morning, ahead of the 2014 World Cup, which kicks off June 12 in Brazil.

Coca-Cola (which, unlike Pepsi, is an official sponsor of the tournament) says its marketing program around the 2014 World Cup is the largest in its history. Themed "The World's Cup," it celebrates soccer as a force for social good.

The two-minute launch spot, by Wieden + Kennedy São Paulo, tells the story of soccer teams in Otsuchi, Japan, Eastern Europe, the Amazon and Ramallah, Palestine—four places where the sport had helped people overcome tension and hardship.

That ad is supported by a ton of other content, including documentary-style short films (themed "Where Will Happiness Strike Next," the subjects range from a blind team in Brazil to a group of grannies in South Africa); an original musical anthem; a "Happiness Flag" photomosaic that will feature fan faces and messages; a FIFA World Cup Trophy tour; and a uniquely Brazilian visual identity for the whole campaign.

"Just as Brasil is everyone's country and Coca-Cola is everyone's drink, the FIFA World Cup is everyone's cup," Joseph Tripodi, evp and chief marketing and commercial officer for Coca-Cola, said in a statement. "Through 'The World's Cup,' Coca-Cola wants to celebrate real people playing football, demonstrating how the game is a force for a more inclusive and connected world."

Meanwhile, Pepsi released its own two-minute spot on Wednesday with a completely different approach—featuring celebrity players and musicians in a lighthearted story set on the streets of Rio.

The ad, by 180LA, follows YouTube musician Stony, who wanders the city playing music, and just happens to run into six of the world’s best soccer players—Leo Messi of Argentina; Robin van Persie of the Netherlands; Jack Wilshere of England; David Luiz of Brazil; Sergio Agüero of Argentina and Sergio Ramos of Spain.

At the end, we get musical royalty as well, as Janelle Monáe appears and performs an exclusive new take of David Bowie's "Heroes." (You can download her version on iTunes starting today.)

There's also an interactive version of the Pepsi spot featuring U.S. star Clint Dempsey, with various moments that fans can unlock.

"We were inspired by the power and unity that sports and music bring to the world. Our content plan to capture this spirit celebrates the creative passion of footballers with music and how both of these awesome forces inspire us to 'Live for Now,' " Kristin Patrick, Pepsi's global chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

"This year, we are giving fans a totally unique and immersive experience of their own—a personalized journey that combines iconic music, our stellar roster of football talent and the ability to create your own 'Now'—uniting Pepsi fans around the world in a celebration of sport, music, art and everyday moments."

Coke vs. Pepsi: grand and rootsy vs. playful and celeb-filled.

What's your poison?

The interactive version (may not work on all browsers):


Client: The Coca-Cola Company

Spot: "One World, One Game (Brasil—Everyone’s Invited)"

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy São Paulo

Executive Creative Directors: Guillermo Vega, Icaro Doria

Copywriter: Kako Méndez

Art Director: Eddy Guimarães

Producer: Kerli Teo

Executive Agency Producer: Ben Grylewicz

Account Team: Spence Kramer, Flavia Cortes

Business Affairs: Dusty Slowik

Global Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff, Colleen DeCourcy

Production Company: Stink Ltd.

Director Lead: Ivan Zacharias

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