Slate's critique of Joga Bonito

Discussion in 'Business and Media' started by Sachin, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. Sachin

    Sachin New Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    La Norte
    DC United
  2. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    That's an interesting critique. I don't agree with all of it, but it's an opinion piece so that's to be expected.

    Personally, I don't see this as quite slam on Adidas that he does, but that could be me missing the sublety.

    As to the Nike + Hard Work formula for soccer in the US, isn't that basically what we saw all last summer with the ad campaign with the Go Tell The World ads?

    I suspect we'll see those brought back out this summer, ESPECIALLY if the US gets a W or two in Germany.
  3. geordienation

    geordienation Moderator

    Apr 21, 2001
    Newcastle United FC

    And I think those ads were largely successful. I think the fact that you have to subtitle Cantona is a big drawback. I was watching the ads the other day thinking that his delivery is never gonna go over well here in the States, even if he were clearer. He doesn't have the presence in these ads that he did in the Secret Tournament series.
  4. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Hell, they subtitle Sir Alex.

    Geordie, I disagree, based on 2nd hand info. Alot of soccer dad posters here indicate that their kids, presumably right in the target demographic, are massive Eurosnobs, so using guys who talk so weird you have to use subtitles appeals to that.
  5. texgator

    texgator New Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    That's actually a good point. I think the author of the Slate piece is wrong in his interpretation of Nike's targeted demo. Mainstream American sports fans aren't going to adopt soccer fandom en masse. If they didn't do it after WC2002, they never will. They need to go after the soccer playing kids. These ads are playing all over the world, they aren't mean to convince people to watch/play soccer, they are meant to convince those that already do that Nike is a product connected with the best that soccer has to offer.

    BTW, the author seems to indicate that the footage in that commercial is authentic. I always assumed it was fake, filmed for the commercial, not real video of a young Ronaldinho. Does anyone know for certain?
  6. tkgunn

    tkgunn Member

    Nov 18, 1998
    Kinda off topic but I was interviewed for the jogo bonito website prior to the red bulls season opener.
  7. KevTheGooner

    KevTheGooner Help that poor man!

    Dec 10, 1999
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    He's right. I'm outta here.
  8. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 New Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    Falls Church, VA

    I think that footage of Ronaldinho as a kid is real. IIRC, they showed the same footage in the Nike "Ginga" series thay showed on FSC - or was that Robinho? If it's not totally real, it's close. The youth futsal shots they showed of Robinho/Ronaldinho was amazing.

    At least he gave the campaign an A. Overall a good critique. I wonder if even younger Eurosnobs really know who Cantona is? I mean I'm 29 and I remeber him just a little bit.

    Maybe they could just have used another spokes person for the US version - Pele maybe?

    USe of the the Euro stars is spot-on. Most soccer fans know they guys they show, Henry, Rooney, etc.

    I also dropped the writer a note about the Nike "DTOM" commericals and sent him some links. I guess the DTOM campaing didn't get the amount of exposure that Jogo Bonito is.

    Even my dad, who is a hard-core NFL and NBA fan took notice of the Ronaldinho "Jogo" commericial. In fact, he called me specifically to talk about it since he knows I am into soccer. Said he saw to commercial while watching sportscenter in the morning. He was pretty amazed. I have to say Ronnie's joy and skill in playing soccer is compelling, even to the non-soccer fan.

    The DTOM campaign seemed only to run during MLS soccer games and on FSC.
  9. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I love that ad. Anybody know who did the music? Last time I checked the Nike website, it was the only clip in the Joga Bonita series without music credits.
  10. Panfilo

    Panfilo Member+

    May 9, 2003
    Club América
    Nat'l Team:
    Baiao Destemperado by Barbatuques
  11. Beau Dure

    Beau Dure Member+

    May 31, 2000
    Vienna, VA
    Yeah, but Cantona has such presence.

    And that's the biggest problem I have with this critique. He wasn't impressed with the Nike "boat" ads with Cantona dancing around on top. Tell me -- who do you know who saw those ads who didn't have that Elvis remix and Cantona's "the loo-sers go home" stuck in his or her head?

    Pele's great for the one-on-ones with Freddy Adu. But if you want someone lecturing the audience on playing with heart or laughing at someone who just got posterized in a steel cage, you want Cantona.

    And Nike's had plenty of memorable ads without any Eurosnob appeal. Go tell the world, indeed.
  12. NGV

    NGV Member+

    Sep 14, 1999
    Here's the one thing I disagreed with in the article:

    When you're trying to introduce a new product into a crowded market, you have to convince people it provides something that the established competitors don't. Selling soccer with the same themes that Nike would use to promote any other sport defeats the purpose. And emphasizing the skill and spontaneity of a player like Ronaldinho, and the "Joy" associated with it, is perfect.

    Think about the great Nike ad from WC 94 with the giant billboards of star players kicking a ball from continent to continent; it made a huge impression on me as a teenager. The ad worked because it sent the message that soccer was a game of international legends, and hinted that America could be on the verge of joining this big and unfamiliar world. That sort of idea is what brought Americans to the stadiums in hordes to cheer for teams and players they'd never heard of.

    What are the main things that set soccer apart from other major sports?

    - The international popularity of the game, and the combination of club and international competition.
    - Breathtaking and spontaneous displays of skill (only basketball comes close).
    - The atmosphere in the stands.

    So, that's what you go with. It won't appeal to everyone, but for those it does appeal to, you've given them a reason to change their preferences.
  13. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 New Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    Falls Church, VA
    True, didn't the Elvis remix become one of the hottest singles on the music charts?

    Oh, no! I've got that song running through me head... "A little less conversation, a little more action...."

    However, after watching the Jogo ads, I see why they kept Cantona's lines to "That's a goal!!!" in the Nike Boat ads.
  14. Sachin

    Sachin New Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    La Norte
    DC United
    Every time I see those ads, I'm reminded of Cantona going kung-fu on the fan who was heckling him.

  15. jammybastard

    jammybastard Member

    Oct 7, 2003
    That's back when he "had heart" and was playing "beautiful"!
  16. Chowderhead

    Chowderhead Member

    Aug 3, 1999
    Central Falls, RI
    Well, I despise the Joga Bonito campaign.

    Why? The hypocrisy of it, first of all. Many of those featured players who Cantona extols as possessing honor are incorregible divers and whiners.

    Cantona himself, an intriguing figure but a self-parodizing intellectual lightweight, had his own very unjoyous and dishonorable moments. That he may have been a frustrated genius is something for which I can have sympathy, mind you, but his message is disengenuous and cannot possibly resonate with those who with memories.

    The Portuguese audio that accompanied some of the Brazil shots was fabricated; it's not authentic commentary. The language itself is extremely clumsy and unconvincing.

    Some of the video, specifically the shot of the defender playing the ball back to the keeper, seems simulated. Regardless, I still don't know how that clip is meant to show something unsporting.

    The shot of pre-game Brazilian piosity is especially inappropriate. The very suggestion that their moment of prayer could inspire divine intervention is insulting. The supposedly Catholic players on Brazil should know that. As should the innumerable evangelical players on the team.

    And, more than anything, the ad comes close to introducing a moral judgment against those teams or players who see overly elaborate play as childish and superficial. This shows just how much Nike has been conned into being proponents of the Brazil fantasy. Brazil's supporters have always either introduced explanations for any future Brazilian failure or claims to some sort of aesthetic and moral victory after defeat. Nike seems to be doing the latter beforehand rather than waiting. And in doing so it suggests that those who don't emphasize showmanship are not worthy participants. One could even take it further and argue that Nike is trying to dictate the terms of the competition. So, if England or Germany or the US or Italy or anyone who employs intelligence and discipline and strength of will or determination should win, Nike will have us all believe that their triumph would be tainted.

    And it imposes its own view of what constitutes good play. One man's spectacle is very often another's superficiality. Nike would dismiss you as dishonorable and cynical for such thoughts.
  17. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 New Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    Falls Church, VA
    I am bored so I’ll bite…

    WOW! Talk about being cynical!

    I can't deny that using Cantona is a weird choice for the Jogo campaign considering his Kung-fu kick, but I think overall, the Jogo campaign does feature the better and beautiful things about soccer.

    You have to admit that some of the plays and moves that the commercial shows are what fans like about soccer. Where as the high tackles, fouls, and other things which the Jogo campaign shows in a bad light are the things that are detrimental to the game.

    BTW- IIRC, the shot of the defender and keeper passing the ball back and forth was not simulated. IIRC it was from a game where the teams basically agreed on a tie so both teams would advance - very unsportsmanlike like. I'll have to try to find a link somewhere - anyone remember that being reported?

    Why is praying before a game a bad thing? The ad wanted to show team spirit. If the team agreed to pray together before a game, that's an example of team spirit. You can argue the ethics of asking God to help you win a game, but I doubt Brazil is the only team to say a quick prayer before a game. But also, get real, people pray and ask for divine intervention on all parts of their lives - why should soccer be any different?

    As for the "moral judgment against those teams or players who see overly elaborate play as childish and superficial." Lighten up. You can't deny that the beauty and skill exhibited by players such as Ronaldihno and other (non-brazilian) players are compelling. No where does the ad say that everyone must do 20 step-overs per game. If anything, the ad highlights the things that people like about the game - joy, honor, teamwork - the good side of soccer. In reality, does Brazil represent all those things? Maybe not, but they come darn close to it. It's also hard to argue with the play and results of one of the best teams in the world right now.

    The ad also features Rooney and Henry - are they part of the Brazilian/Nike conspiracy to insult non-fancy style teams and players? I'd say those are two players who are extremely effective and also demonstrate tremendous flair in their play.

    My guess is there a reason the teams that regard elaborate play as childish or superficial aren't being featured by Nike...... or Adidas, or Reebok, or (pick manufacturer’s name here). Those teams on average are just not that good or compelling. I mean, what team or manager in his right mind would consider the play of a someone like an Henry, Ronaldinho, or Rooney as childish or over-elaborate?
  18. marek

    marek Member

    Lechia Gdańsk
    Jun 27, 2000
    OSP Lechia Gdansk
    i agree

    Cantona was a great player, but he's being a little two faced when he insists on the 'joga bonito' (i don't think the reviewer/writer of the original story in the thread even knows this about Cantona)

    i prefer the adidas ad where the kids pick their favorite players to play on their teams
  19. TOTC

    TOTC Member

    Feb 20, 2001
    Laurel, MD, USA
    I love the Ronaldinho futsal commercial. Amazing the skills this kid had as a youth.

    HSEUPASSION New Member

    Apr 16, 2005
    Duck, NC
    The prayer thing, yes they were praying. This offends you how?

    It was meant as a show of unity, and team spirit. It got it's message across.

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