Nike and Adidas have been busy in the run up to the World Cup.
They’ve both launched their World Cup adverts and they’re both pretty slick.
Here’s a peek at what Adidas have been up to:

These are not the trainers you're looking for

But on with what Nike have been up to.
The Nike advert takes the simple premise of looking at what your efforts bring, either reward or failure. So they take this very simple idea and exaggerate it. Which is a classic way to create something really strong.
So we open on Drogba bearing down on goal and then lifting a delightful chip over the advancing Italian keeper (Pellegrino, rather than Buffon). We then see a beautifully paced series of shots of lots of Ivory Coast supporters getting on their feet to celebrate the goal. Except it never hits the back of the net. Cannavaro races back and clears off the line with an overhead kick. Cut to shots of Italy going Cannavaro daft. We see him centre of attention in a revue show as the Italians idolise him.
Then the ball lands with Rooney. The game is entering the final minute and he tries to find Defoe with a pass. Ribery intercepts the pass and we see Rooney imagining his future. We see him as a groundsman, painting the centre circle onto the pitch. We see him living in a caravan and his life looks pretty bleak. Cut back to the pitch to see him chase down Ribery, slide tackle him and win the ball. Cut back to his future and we see him being knighted, the UK stock market rocketing and a whole generation of babies names Wayne.
Cut to Ronaldinho (I know, but I guess they, too, thought that he’d be going) who takes the ball in his stride and then performs a series of step-overs. Cut to see the whole world doing the step-overs, including a nice cameo from basketball superstar Kobe Bryant who scores from way downtown and then performs the ‘Ronaldinho turn’.
We then cut to see Ronaldo (the thin one) performing his skills. We then see his future as a playboy with a stadium named after him, a guest appearance in The Simpsons and a movie about him starring Gael Garcia Bernal as him. The advert finishes with Ronaldo running up to take one of his trademark free kicks. It fades to black just before he hits the ball. The strapline reads: “Write the future.”
I like it. I like it a lot. See what you think.

And Adidas have really pushed the boat out. They’ve sidled up next to Lucasfilm and pulled off a spectacular pastiche of the Cantina scene from the original Star Wars film. They’ve added a whole host of folk into the mix. First up are Daft Punk, wearing their trademark helmets and looking like they’ve always been in the scene. Next we see a quick cut of DJ Neil Armstrong on stage as the space-age clarinets are played. Then Ian Brown and Noel Gallagher, followed by Jay Baruchel and a nice little splicing of Daft Punk into a scene with Han Solo. Then Snoop makes his appearance and he doesn’t disappoint. He brings his usual streetwise up-in-your-face attitude to the party and ends up with his lightsaber drawn sorting out a couple of fools, replacing the action originally performed by Obi-Wan. Then we have Beckham being taken at blaster-point by Greedo to a table in the scene originally performed by Han Solo. Greedo tells Beckham that Jabba wants him for his team. He tells him that Jabba “saw him play a long time ago… for a galaxy far, far away.” Then Greedo gets killed by a blaster shot fired accidentally by Jay Baruchel after he’s hit on the head by a drinks coaster thrown at him by Noel Gallacher. As Imperial Stormtroopers arrive and start asking questions Beckham walks away from the table saying “It wasn’t me.”
It’s a things of beauty and it’s all tied together with the strapline “Celebrate originality”.

Looks like a score draw between Nike and Adidas. Or perhaps, on reflection, a win after a penalty shootout for Adidas.