As the 2014 World Cup draws closer, we’re going to start to see more and more ads celebrating the greatest soccer stars in the world, highlighting their otherworldly skills and ascent to the top of the athletic food chain.
Nico Calabria was born with one-leg. But the 19-year-old amateur soccer player is a star of Powerade’s new campaign leading up to the global tournament in Rio. The Coca-Cola sports drink and agency Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam have taken the approach of aligning soccer greats like Spain’s Andres Iniesta with passionate amateurs under the tagline “The power in every game.”
These can come off a bit forced, but by adding into the mix a two-minute film on Calabria, the brand’s campaign message has twice the impact of any pro athlete endorsement, thanks to a real story of perseverance and passion that anyone can take to heart.
The company also wrote a short profile on Calabria that shows his inspirational life doesn’t end on the soccer pitch. When he was 13, he became the first person to ever summit Mt. Kilimanjaro on crutches, raising more than $100,000 for Free Wheelchair Mission.