Although it seems like it's been years of hype, The 2014 FIFA World Cup is now mere moments away. So it's time for adidas to make a big splash. This spot features a whole bunch of footballers like Leo Messi, Robin Van Persie, and Dani Alves and Kanye West rapping about being at "God Level," in his brand new track of the same name. Such non-sequitur lyrics like "Provide a new coffin, you don't see murder like this this often," feel like when adidas signed Kanye, they got the right to whatever new song he was dropping regardless of whether or not it actually fit the concept.
"God Level," reminds me of some Pre-Millennium Tension-era Tricky darkness, except with some quasi-Brazilian or marching percussion behind it. The only line that connects with the picture even vaguely is when Kanye says "You see sharks in the water." Luckily, they spared us the next line: "They try to do nothin' but put c**ks in your daughter," because you know, that would be weird.
See, this is the problem with adidas, and has been ever since their Originals "House Party," and the remixed Frankie Valli track, from way back in 2008. Any adidas spot since then features a montage of action or lifestyle shots, and a new or remixed-so-it's-new music track that tends to overshadow the footage. While the spots themselves have more of a theme to them than an actual idea. Not sure if Sid lee deserves credit or blame for this. Either way, if previous adidas spots are a good judge, people will be talking more about Kanye's track than the merits of the spot or even adidas' World Cup 2014 ball called Brazuca. By the way, the Brazuca actually has its own Twitter account, which makes me want to leave twitter and never return.
The spot was shot well by City Of God director Fernando Meirelles who is also a Brazilian if you couldn't tell. The direction is fine, but the problem comes in the pacing. The visceral moments don't really start happening until about 30 seconds in. Before that we see atmospheric dream sequences, angry-mob fans, and "the press." In other words, very familiar territory for a World Cup spot, or an NBA spot for that matter. It's kind of expected territory.
Where it actually gets interesting is at the end of the spot where the prompts come up and ask you to choose all in or nothing. Choosing All In leads you to a crazy barrage of images representing the Brazilian World Cup. What happens when you choose Nothing? It leads you to a bunch of closed signs, broken TV color bars and what not with the prompt "Are you sure?"
If anything I enjoyed that a lot more because there's an actual idea behind it. Is it all in or nothing at all? I wish more of that was represented in the spot itself. But its adidas and they're locked in to this montage + cool track formula.
Incidentally, at press time, adidas is getting a butt load of traffic to its site, and keeps crashing. When I initially clicked on "Nothing," it kept leading me to a broken page. I thought adidas was trolling me for a minute.