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.