Five Nike Commercials That Emotionally Manipulate Even Non-Sports Fans


You might not know, because you are an American or otherwise uninterested, but the World Cup is coming up in a matter of weeks, in which the earth’s best soccer playing nations will face off in South Africa. It only happens every four years. When it does, millions and millions tune in with all levels of nationalistic pride, while the United States largely goes about its own business because we hate losing, which we always do.

Still, that doesn’t stop Nike from making mini-movies to celebrate the mega-tournament. Above is the three-minute “Write the Future” spot, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (21 Grams, Babel), and it is beautiful and exciting and filled with emotion, even if you have no idea who these sweaty men are or why they’re doing what they’re doing. Nike is exceptional at this, thanks to manipulative music and ads that are artfully shot. Watch and be moved, whether you like sports or not:

Everyone cares about cute kids, especially when they’re jumping around to Ennio Morricone’s music from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. It’s like Jay-Z said when he used the same sample to finish Nas: “Unleash the flutes on ’em, Guru.”

Grainy vintage footage, a voiceover ,and a killer mustache. Voila:

Even if you’re not that into soccer or action movies, this two-minute amalgamation of Mission: Impossible, True Lies, and jocks doing tricks with balls is an adrenaline shot:

LeBron “King” James, New York needs you. And watch closely for the Lil Wayne cameo:

There you have it: consumerism as art. Post any forgotten classics in the comments.