We love our football in the UK, with countless footballers considered heroes, villains and everything in between. Team sponsorships and player endorsements are a huge part of the Beautiful Game, so it’s no surprise that there have been some absolutely classic football TV adverts over the years.
We’ve put together some of the very best adverts with footballers in (or soccer players, if you’re so inclined). From iconic sports brands to household companies, here are some of the most memorable football adverts…
Pizza Hut – Miss (1996)
England’s relationship with penalties is famously troubled, with crucial missed spot kicks often living long in any heartbroken fan’s memory. Poking fun at yet another devastating missed penalty – this time by Gareth Southgate against Germany in the Euro 96 semi-final – this classic Pizza Hut advert aims to see the funny side.
The ad stars future England manager Southgate, plus Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle – two more unlucky penalty-takers for the Three Lions. Though the advert is for Pizza Hut’s Pan Pizza, approximately 90% of the script is the word “miss”, as the three stars poke fun at their big tournament failures.
Pepsi – Medieval Fight (2004)
One of the classic Pepsi football adverts of the 2000s, Medieval Fight spares no expense on production value. The advert is set in a medieval village, as an army lays siege to the villagers to steal their… cans of Pepsi. A tale as old as time.
Luckily for the beleaguered villagers, a group of vigilantes – led by David Beckham and including Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho and Totti – arrives in the village to defeat the heavily armed militia – with a football.
Adidas – Impossible is Nothing (2006)
2006’s Impossible is Nothing campaign by Adidas was one of the most successful campaigns in the brand’s history – registering over 1.3 billion video views and 18 million social engagements. The ad campaign followed athletes from multiple sports around the world, with football icons David Beckham and Lionel Messi both having their own short films.
The campaign introduces Beckham and Messi and shares their story. For fans of the stars, it’s an intimate glimpse into their heroes. A unique and sentimental take on the football advert that’s both touching and inspiring.
Coca Cola – Believing is Magic (2022)
Though most football adverts cash in on star quality and big-name appeal, Coca-Cola changed the formula for their 2022 World Cup ad.
The advert follows a football fan – decked out in official-looking World Cup kit – strolling through the streets sipping on a Coke. She dreams of her team winning it all, and soon finds herself in the midst of the kind of euphoric, words-can’t-describe celebration that only football can produce. Fans line the streets, confetti falls from the sky, and the spirit of the World Cup is perfectly encapsulated.
Nike – Winner Stays (2014)
A seemingly normal kickabout of “winner stays on” in a UK park soon turns into a high-stakes all-star clash in this imaginative Nike football advert.
Using the power of imagination, players turn themselves into a selection of the world’s top athletes, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain, Neymar Jr, Zlatan Ibrahimović and more. As well as embodying the global power of football, the ad includes lots of humorous references to football culture – from an appearance by Irina Shayk to a David Luiz hair reference.
Who are your favourite footballing stars? Let us know if there’s a football TV advert we’ve missed!