Is Nike’s “Write The Future” Cursed?


Sure, Nike’s “Write the Future” ad is being heralded as one of the greatest ambush marketing moves of all time (including by Nike’s VP of brand, Trevor Edwards). It has been viewed 16 million-plus times just on YouTube, and can be seen playing all over World Cup-related broadcasts. A critical success, boatloads of exposure to the brand. But there’s grumbling afoot: is the Nike ad cursing its stars? And if so, by the conclusion of the Cup in July, could it come to be seen as a joke? Many of the stars (and teams) featured in the now iconic ad are slumping, tragically. See what we mean after the jump.[more]

Didier Drogba sustained several injuries and was only able to join his Ivory Coast team several games into the tournament, where he scored, in a loss to Brazil. Drogba’s team will now have to score at least 8 goals against North Korea and hope for a Brazil win over Portugal or it goes home.

Captain Fabio Cannavaro‘s former champion Team Italy is being called an embarrassment after its Paraguay result and then drawing against New Zealand. (New Zealand!)

Wayne Rooney‘s wife Colleen may have landed a million pound contract to be the face of U.K. retailer Littlewoods, but Rooney has found himself a target of derision over England’s less than stellar play. Rooney has even apologized for lashing out against his own fans. (Nike asked Roger Federer, who just squeaked through his first round at Wimbledon, to weigh in on Rooney before the fuss — and Federer’s French Open loss).

The there is France. Team (and Write the Future) star Franck Ribéry has actually apologized to fans for France’s performance so far, including that the team went on strike and walked way from practice in a row with its coach.

Brazil is doing well so far, but the Brazil team’s star of Nike’s ad, Ronaldinho, was injured before the team even played its first World Cup game. We trust Nike’s samba-ronics spot didn’t aggravate matters.

The ad’s closing figure, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, appears to be the only major “Write the Future” star (and future cinema idol?) whose World Cup is not currently collapsing around him. Ronaldo scored as the the team crushed North Korea. But after only drawing against Ivory Coast, Ronaldo will have to crank it up as Portugal next faces juggernauts Brazil.

In the future, say a week from now, how will the Nike ad look if all but one of its stars is out of competition? Will Nike have to produce a Right the Future follow-up ad? Stay tuned…