The Advert That Defined a Generation of Football Fans: Winner Stays On
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The Advert That Defined a Generation of Football Fans: Winner Stays On

27/03/24 22:32

Since 1971, Nike has been creating football boots. And alongside the release of these boots hundreds of adverts have been made.

Nike is known for creating some pretty iconic advertisements. From “The Secret Tournament” to “The Last Game” but none have been more iconic and more memorable than their “Winner Stays On” ad released in 2014.

Not only was this advert iconic but arguably it defined a generation of football fans and players arguably making it the greatest football advert ever created.

Made as part of the build up for the 2014 Brazil World Cup, “Winner Stays On” features some of Nike’s top footballing athletes from the time. Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eden Hazard, Thiago Silva, Andrés Iniesta and many others all made cameos.

It even included UFC stars Jon Jones and Anderson Silva, as well as Kobe Bryant, Irina Shayk and (for whatever reason) The Hulk. The cast was pretty exceptional.

But what made the advert so generational was not just the stars involved it was the concept. Nike was able to capture exactly what every football fan has done at least once in their lives and spin it into reality.

There is not a single football fan reading this right now that can tell me that they haven’t been in the park with their mates imitating their footballing idols. Screaming out their names as they have smashed the ball in the back of the net or put in such a clean challenge that Maldini would be impressed. Every fan has done it. And this advert brings that idea to life.

What if when you say a player's name you actually BECOME that player.

A group of mates playing winner stays on becoming their favourite players. Nothing beats it.

The moment we hear the line “Guess I’m Cristiano Ronaldo then” you can see something special is bound to happen. And as every single player, bar one of course, transforms, you can’t help but have a smile on your face.

The relatability of the advert, despite people literally turning into footballers in it, is just so special.

It’s not just about the amazing skills on display in the advert, as well, that gets viewers hooked. Nike throws in different comedic moments to keep the advert even more interesting.

Ronaldo taunting one of the other players because the supermodel in the crowd is cheering for him, One of the lads pronouncing Iniesta’s name wrong and becoming a postman named Iniesto instead, A player taking the mick because one of the others passes backwards as Neymar in a 1v1 situation saying “Neymar would never do that”, two players becoming David Luiz because they both say it at the same time. There are so many moments of pure genius in this advert.

To say I haven’t found myself saying the line “You mean Iniest…A” over and over again throughout my life would be a complete lie. And for many football fans I’m sure it is the same.

The use of Miss Alissa by Eagles of Death Metal as the backing track is just another reason why this advert is so amazing. It suits the commercial perfectly in its upbeat tempo. The song is almost Fifa-esque and gets me, for one, in the mood to play football. The exact point of it being released in the first place. It is the perfect choice.

A Ronaldo wonder goal to open the scoring, Neymar equaliser, A fancy Iniesta flick, and a vintage Rooney volley takes us to the end of the ad with the scores tied 2-2. Up to this point we, as an audience, are already hooked and yet Nike found a way to end it in the best way possible.

The yet to transform player wins a penalty after being taken out by David Luiz, typical. Ronaldo, of course, steps up for the penalty before being ushered away by the same kid who won the penalty in the first place. You never take a penalty away from Ronaldo but on this occasion he allows it.

The music goes silent, the tension builds and as he steps up to finish the game the music slowly builds back up only for the only player on the pitch that isn’t a footballing icon to Panenka his penalty past Tim Howard sending the stadium and the world berserk. I even celebrate on my own watching it now - it’s just that good.

Risk Everything, the name of the Nike campaign at the time, appears on the screen and the advert ends. It is perfect.

As discussed, Nike managed to take a concept of mates playing a game of football in a park and turn it not only into something iconic but something relatable. Everyone has dreamed of a scenario like this and Nike managed to bring it to life with this advert.

If it doesn’t make you want to play or even watch football I don’t know what will.

The way this advert has stuck in a generation of football fans minds even almost 10 years since it was originally released just emphasises how amazing it truly is.

Nike produced one of the most iconic football adverts of all time with this one and it hasn’t been topped, by anyone, since.

Check out the advert below:

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