Rogers World Cup Ad leaves me cold

It was a toss up on what to cover today. I was either going to revisit the Budweiser vs Bavaria SNAFU in Germany, do a long and protracted post using football (my variety) and football (the American variety) as metaphors for PR and advertising or introduce what I hope will become a regular and much loved feature.


And because something new is less boring than something old (why there are so many M&As around) I thought I’d introduce the weekly “Worst Advert on TV” award.


Surprisingly there are a lot of poorly conceived and diabolically executed adverts on Canadian TV (and on US TV spilling over the border) but the one that actually makes me cringe, yell at the TV and change channel is the Rogers Wireless ad.


“Off the plane and on the train” is the opening line and for the next 30 seconds Rogers, and its ad agency goes on to prove to me that they are shamelessly trying to jump on the World Cup bandwagon.


Our “heroes” (protagonists?) try to go watch a game but they don’t have a ticket, and surprise surprise, everyone with a ticket has actually turned up for a tournament that a) only occurs every four years and b) won’t be held in Germany again in their lifetime.


But wait! It’s all going to be okay. They’ve got a
Rogers cell phone and can download the winning goal and make some new friends. Why not just go to one of the famed beer halls and watch it on a huge screen?


That would be bad enough, but then they try and package in something completely irrelevant – playing hip-hop on their cell to an Oompa Loompa band. Seriously.


It’s an awful, awful advert (extraordinary even) that does nothing to persuade me to buy any of the products or services featured.


Funnily enough, no one’s wanted to post this horrible piece of advertising onto YouTube!


More proof that advertising doesn’t get the new principles of marketing in today’s social media revolution. The money from the ad and the media buy would’ve been much better spent on a call to action that got people to send in their own pictures or videos of them playing football (if they really wanted to follow the FIFA bandwagon).


That way they could form a passionate community of users around their core products and services instead of alienating them. Imagine the Rogers Wireless gallery of people doing their own flicks and tricks, all captured on their phones and sent in over the Rogers network.


What annoys me even more about this cack handed campaign is that I have all of my telecoms through Rogers. And this is how they repay me!

*Update (25 Aug, 2006) – for the Canadian reader, the new advert (“back in res”) is just as bad and shows the sort of cookie cutter approach ad agencies must have.  Although I’d be even more worried if the world cup ad actually worked on consumers.*


Mushalink – Feist: Links for Tuesday June 27, 2006

Globe blogs Cannes – Marketing reporter Keith McAthur blogs about Canadian fortunes in the 53rd annual Cannes Lions International Advertising Awards.


Nash goes on the bottle – Basketball player and Canadian icon will appear on bottles of Clearly Canadian Beverage Corp as the company seeks to revive its fortunes after being delisted from the TSX,
Canada’s Stock Exchange. Nash may or may not be receiving up to $500,000 or equity in the company. Very cleverly, he’s decided not to appear in any adverts


Listen, Like, Download – British consumers will soon be able to download music as they listen to it on digital radio. Come on mobile companies, make that cell-phone enabled and you’ll make a load of money. Now is there any way we can get that into Second Life…


NBC to advertise on YouTube – NBC will have a dedicated channel on YouTube to promote its fall line up. Archived, new and exclusive clips will be shown on the video sharing site. Including Lazy Sunday?


Mobile Phone/Blackberry Etiquette – because too many people use theirs without adult supervision



Do you represent a laptop manufacturer or retailer? Do you want your logo here? If you do, please email me!

4 Responses to Rogers World Cup Ad leaves me cold

  1. Chris Clarke says:

    I happen to hate those Rogers commercials, too. Some reasons the exact same as yours (“Look, we’re wandering aimlessly through Europe! If not for our Rogers cell phone, we’d be having zero fun and probably be dead!”) and some different (What sort of awkward threesome is going on between those three? “Eddie thinks he saw an angel”? So who’s the girl with? I don’t buy that they’re all just platonic ”friends” either) but the reason I hate them the most: they come off as fake. Not the kind of fake that most commercials come with either. The kind of fake associated with moon landings and Milli Vanilli. Nobody goes to the World Cup without tickets, and once there, nobody makes friends by “downloading” the winning goal on their handheld mobile phone. You said the exact same thing, Ed, but it makes me furious that Rogers thinks anyone would be able to relate to this commercial, or even be able to understand it after watching it a hundred times.

    The worst part: the commercials run hundreds of times a day during prime time.

    This comment is so long I bet this gets caught in your spam filter!

  2. Ed Lee says:

    Excellent points Chris. The media-buy makes the commercial about a million times worse. If you repeat the ad enough times, you’re not going to knock me into submission.

    And yet again advertisers expect us to connect with an unrealistic vision of life (Life Ad.0?) based on ridiculous fallacies.


  3. frankie hennessy says:

    i think the by far irratating adverts on tv is uswitch advert
    where some weird guy and his gang of weirdos jumps up behind you and started singing you got to switch it in an gospel manor gets on my nerves and another one is the comfort one where the professor goes up to these toddlers and started speaking in an babyish manor and the worst ones
    are the anti aging wrinkle cream where some old coot blathers
    on endlesly about how great this cream does for your skin
    and that annoying loreal catchphrase your worth it it is irratating and lastly the constant collectible fads adverts
    telling people to get every issue i find it annoying.

  4. John says:

    The final line of the ad (something about “what’s important is wherever your friends are”) undercuts the whole concept of the ad – why not just stay back at home in Canada in the first place?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: