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

One grand, one playful

Headshot of Tim Nudd

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
Others: Kosai Sekine, Josh Cole, Nacho Gayan, Norman Bates
Executive Producers: Daniel Bergmann Mungo Maclagan
Producers: Nick Landon, Ai Yamamoto, Toni Moreno, Robert Bray
Line Producers: Swantje Rummel, Sophie Hubble, Kristin Rathje
Production Assistant: Trond Olsen
Directors of Photography: Adam Kimmel, Senzo Ueno, Sebastian Blenkov, Luke Jakobs, Rik Zang

Editing Company: Joint
Editors: Tommy Harden, Nicholas Davis
Editor Assistant: J.B. Jacobs
Post Producer: Yamaris Leon
Post Executive Producer: Patty Brebner

Visual Effects: The Mill
Flame Artist: Bill Higgins
Visual Effects Executive Producer: Enca Kaul
Visual Effects Producers: Adam Reeb, Jesse Looney
Production Co-ordinator: Jilian Lynes

Music, Sound Company: Walker
Composers: Nicholas Wright, Mauricio Herszkowicz
Executive Producer: Sara Matarazzo
Producer: Paul Dirksen

Mix Company: Barking Owl
Sound Designer, Mixer: Brock Babcock
Executive Producer: Kelly Bayett
Producer: Whitney Fromholtz


Client: Pepsi
Spot: "Now Is What You Make It"
Chief Marketing Officer: Kristin Patrick
Creative Director: Landis Smithers
Vice President, Advertising: David Foulds
Senior Brand Director, Global Pepsi: Gary So

Agency: 180LA
Partner, Chief Creative Officer: William Gelner
Managing Partner, Chairman: Chris Mendola
Creative Directors: Dave Horton, Matthew Woodhams-Roberts
Associate Creative Director, Copywriter: Jason Rappaport
Associate Creative Director, Art Director: Mike Bokman
Copywriter: Joe Beutel
Art Director: Jaclyn Kritch
Head of Production: Natasha Wellesley
Executive Producer, Producer: Erin Goodsell
Director of Interactive Production: Christopher Neff     
Senior Integrated Producer: Andrew Slough
Integrated Producer: Nili Zadok
Head of Account Services: Chad Bettor
Account Director: Sandy Song                                                                                  
Account Manager: Jessica DeLillo                                                                            
Business Affairs Director: Loretta Zolliecoffer                    
Head of Design: Richard Harrington
Designers: Patrice Liu, Dan Pappas
Studio Design: Kyle Klinger

Production Company: Reset
Director: Johan Renck
Managing Director: Dave Morrison
Executive Producer: Jeff McDougall
Bidding Producer: Jen Beitler
Head of Production: Amanda Clune
Staff Coordinator: Heinrich Meyer
Producer: Annabel Ridley
Production Supervisor: Lana Greenaway
Shoot Location: Rio de Janeiro
Shoot Dates: 12/7/2013 – 12/09/2013

Production: Brazil
Production Company: Zohar Cinema
Producers: Isabelle Tanugi, Carlos Paiva, Roberto Bakker
Production Coordinator: Mariana Cassa
Shoot Location: Rio de Janeiro
Shoot Dates: 12/7/2013 – 12/10/2013

Production: Spain
Production Company: Inclusive SCP
Producer: Lole Ramirez
Shoot Location: Barcelona, Spain
Shoot Date: 1/7/2014

Production: London
Production Company: Academy
Executive Producer: Lizzie Gower
Producer: Juliette Harris
Shoot Location: London
Shoot Dates: 1/16/2014 – 1/18/2014

Integrated Production:
Production Company: m ss ng p eces
Director: Jordan Fish
Executive Producer: Ari Kuschnir
Producer: Carla Robertson
Director of Photography: Owen Donovan
Shoot Location: Rio de Janeiro
Shoot Dates: 12/7/2013 – 12/10/2013

Editing Company: Cut + Run
Senior Editor: Steve Gandolfi
Editors: Sam Jones, Julian Tranquille
Assistant Editors: Laura Dunn, Sean Fazende
Executive Producer: Carr Schilling
Senior Producer: Amburr Farls
Managing Director: Michelle Eskin
Integrated Editoring Company: m ss ng p eces
Editor: Adam Besheer
Motion Graphics: Tal Baltuch

Lead Online, Visual Effects, Transfer: The Mill
Executive Producer: Jo Arghiris
Producer: Dan Roberts
Production Coordinator: David Lawrence
Visual Effects Supervisor: Andres Eguiguren
2-D Lead Artist: Chris Knight
3-D Lead Artist: David Hempstead
2-D Artists: Chris Knight, Tim Davies, Ben Smith, Daniel Lang, Robert Murdock
3-D Artist: David Hempstead
Motion Graphics: Chris Burkhalter
Colorists: Adam Scott, Greg Reese
Additional Visual Effects: Cut + Run
Creative Director: David Parker
Flame Assistant: Jorge Tanaka
Senior Producer: Liz Lydecker

Recording Studio: Eleven Sound
Mixer: Jeff Payne
Assistant Mixer: Ben Freer
Executive Producer: Suzanne Hollingshead

Music, Sound Design
Original Music: David Bowie, "Heroes"
Track Sourced by Soundtree Music
Produced, Arranged and Sound Design: Luis Almau, Peter Raeburn
Producer: Storr Redman
Track Negotiated in Part by Chop Shop Music Supervision

Interactive Video Technology: Interlude

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.