Eric Cantona, legendary soccer player, hosts a series of video clips for Nike & Google’s football initiative, Joga. Cantona, known for his playing for French and English football teams (Manchester), appeals for a renewed sense of beauty in the game, in the lead up to the FIFA World Cup. The series of online football videos, hosted at Nike Football, is known as “Joga Bonito”, Portugese for “Play Beautiful”. Google and Nike have worked together to establish an online community, Joga.com, playing on the concepts developed in the videos.
The first spot launching the series, in which Cantona storms into the German studio, was launched in February 2006. Cantona interrupts “Fussball Dossier” to say, “This is Eric Cantona interrupting all transmissions, broadcasting live from the heart of Germany. Mes Amis Footballers! For too long we let liars and cheaters make a fool of the game. Look at this.” He points to the screen on which three scenarios are played. “Enough! I am here to remind the world that this game is about skills, heart, honour, joy, team spirit.”
The camera moves to the screen on which we see a team praying together, followed by classical skillful playing together.
“Mes amis. I need your help, your hearts and your feet. Together, me and you, we can make it beautiful again. Beautiful! So step forward, my brothers in football and join us. Play beautiful. This is just the beginning. Watch this space.”
We are given the Joga Bonito logo, and are pointed to nikesoccer.ca, nikesoccer.com, nikefutbol.com, and nikefootball.com. All videos are available to view and download on the Nike Football site, in Windows Media, Quicktime, PSP and iPod formats.
Joy uses genuine footage of Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, who is usually known as Ronaldinho Gaucho to distinguish him from fellow Brazilian Ronaldo. Cantona introduces the clip by reminding us of the capacity of a child to try, to dare, to play “just because you like it”.
The video features shots of Ronaldinho playing a futsal (indoor soccer) match as a child in Porto Alegre, Brazil, mixed in with footage of him playing now. Ronaldinho, despite his star roles playing for Brazil and FC Barcelona, continues to exude pure joy in the game. Cantona concludes by advising his friends never to grow up.
The music used in Nike Joy is a remix of “Baiao Destemperado” by Barbatuques, with Ben Mitchell. Download the track from iTunes:
Honour shows Thierry Henry playing with friends and family in a street game of soccer. Theirry Henry plays as a striker for the French national team, as well as for English club Arsenal. Cantona says that people have forgotten what honour is. “But not here. On the streets you cannot hide behind the ref’s call – and your feet have to do all the talking. Here dribblers are kings. Divers are thrown into the pits. Play beautiful.”
Music in Nike Honor is “Party 7″, by Big Boss Man, from their album, Humanize. Download the track from iTunes:
Heart has Wayne Rooney going into goal himself after conceding in a training session. Cantona says that without heart we cannot play. Rooney currently plays for Manchester United and the English national football team as second striker. In this spot he takes over as goal keeper before taking the ball back to score a goal himself, despite his coach’s instructions to stay where he is.
Music in Nike Heart is “Caroline” by Radio 4, from “Enemies Like This”, released in May 2006.
Skill has a footballing duel of skill played out between Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugese player signed with Manchester United) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Swedish player signed with Juventus in Italy). Eric Cantona tells us that football is like fencing. It is a noble art. He shows Cristiano some footage of Zlatan’s skills demonstrated in his changing rooms, then challenges him “can you beat that?” The two players proceed to demonstrate their finesse with the ball in their respective changing rooms and on the field.
Music on the duel clip is “Return of the Tres”, by Delinquent Habits. Download the track from iTunes.
Cantona says that we only know how to make beautiful music if we know how to play in an orchestra. In the Brazilian bus Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Adriano, Robinho, Cicinho and Roberto Carlos are singing and playing together on musical instruments.
As they move from blue to yellow in the changing rooms, the ball goes flying from foot to foot. Inspired by a communal prayer (first introduced by the Brazil team as they prepared for their 2-0 victory over Germany in Japan in 2002), they head out into the stadium to play in front of the crowds.
Music played in this spot is “Mas Que Nada”, a bossa nova/hip style collaboration between Sergio Mendes and will.i.am, featuring Black Eyed Peas. When Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 released this song in 1966, it became a world wide smash. It was the first Latin-pop crossover hit and the only time a song sung in Portuguese hit the top of the Billboard charts. The song was written by Jorge Ben, a well loved Brazilian composer. Download the track from iTunes:
The Nike Joga Bonito campaign was developed at advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam. Staff included creative directors Mark Hunter, and Alvaro Sotomayor, creatives Johan Dahlqvist, Carlo Cavallone, and Joe Staples, group account director Patricia Cerda, account team James Goode and Feliciano Robayna, producers Sid Daffarn, Elissa Singstock and Veronika Kaufmann, media advisors Paul Mukherjee and Mel Shannahan, adaptation staff Jasmina Peri, Lorenza Montorfano and Claudia Casagrande, executive creative directors Al Moseley and John Norman, executive producer Tom Dunlap and Elissa Singstock.
Editors were Sam Gunn, Adam Marshall and Russell Icke with Whitehouse Post, London.
Post production for Cause was done at Moving Picture Company, London. Post production for Joy, Honour, Skill, Team and Heart was done at The Mill by a team including Fi Kilroe, Darren O’Kelly, scheduler Cath Short, Lead flame Giles Cheetham, CG supervior Hitesh Patel, flame assist David Birkill, Paul Wilmot.
Audio post production was done at Wave Studios, London.