In one of the all time moments of counting chickens before they’ve hatched, Nike, in all their brilliant ad campaign glory have erected a giant rock billboard emulating Mount Rushmore in London featuring the faces of some of the key England players heading to South Africa. Only problem is that one of those key faces happens to be Theo Walcott, who obviously isn’t headed to the World Cup. The massive billboard also features the faces of Wayne Rooney, James Milner and Rio Ferdinand.
Nike have recently impressed with their “Write the Future” advert, which oddly enough features Theo for a brief second and former Brazilian World Cup star Ronaldinho as a key participant in the video. Ronaldinho like Walcott also won’t compete in the World Cup this summer having failed to earn a spot in the Brazil squad. With all the planning and preparation that goes into a successful ad campaign, one can ironically understand that Nike has no control over which players are picked for final squads. Many will remember back to 2006 when a similar TV spot for Adidas featured England striker Jermain Defoe who also failed to make the final cut.
The billboard, which is the biggest in the UK, will been seen an estimated 6 million times in the final few days before the opening round match against the US and will be available to view until June 20th. The rock sculpture idea began months ago when each player’s face was electronically scanned in order to produce the most life-like image. The images were used by expert sculptors to then craft at a secret location.
In another moment of irony, the words, “PLAY TO BE REMEMBERED”, were etched into the rock formation in hopes the players featured would produce stunning World Cup performances and Nike would come out looking genius in the end. Maybe not this time Nike, but nice try.