Top 5 ads of the week: Nike celebrates France, Netflix at the mall

Gatorade salutes Serena Williams like a mother, Helsinki’s biggest newspaper welcomes Trump and Putin to town, and KFC plays with cats.

Top 5 ads of the week: Nike celebrates France, Netflix at the mall

Obviously it was the French national team that won the 2018 World Cup, but in the branded part of the beautiful game it’s hard to argue with Nike’s claim to the crown. Both finalists–France and Croatia–wore Nike kits. Harry Kane, Luka Modric, and Kylian Mbappé–the World Cup’s Golden Boot, Best Player, and Best Young Player award winners, respectively–are all on Nike endorsement contracts. And 65% of all players in the World Cup had the swoosh on their soccer boots. So it’s no wonder the brand has a bit of swagger following the final. Their latest spot celebrating the winners may be called “We won it in France,” but the chant out of Beaverton right now is “We won it in Russia.” Onward!


Nike “We Won It In France”

What: A new spot celebrating France adding that second star to its shirt.

Who: Nike

Why we care: Nike’s made a habit of the quick-and-cool congratulatory spot–whether it’s the 2016 Chicago Cubs World Series title, Cleveland’s 2016 NBA title win, or high-fiving Kevin Durant after he won his first title with Golden State last year. Here we get one just as slick and just as stylish–it just also happens to be in French.

Gatorade “Like A Mother”

What: Ahead of her Wimbledon finals appearance, an ad paying tribute to Serena Williams, narrated by her mom.

Who: Gatorade, TBWA/Chiat/Day

Why we care: The phrase “like a mother” has typically been used as a short-form of “like a motherfu…” you know the rest.  But here Gatorade cleverly flips it to simultaneously honor Williams’s complete badassery, as well as her relatively new status as a pro athlete mom. Narrated by Williams’s own mom, it perfectly sums up yet another reason she is one of the greatest athletes of all time.


Netflix “Coming Soon: The Starcourt Mall!”

What: A commercial for Hawkins, Indiana’s newest shopping hotspot, the Starcourt Mall.

Who: Netflix

Why we care: Ahh, Netflix. Sure you spend more on marketing your shows than some of your competitors spend on actual shows, but, damn, you spend it well sometimes. Stranger Things season three isn’t set to launch until next summer, and yet here we get served up a piping-hot slice of nostalgic bliss that may just be the setting for our favorite throwback ’80s alternative universe.

KFC “Colonel Sanders Cat Climber”

What: The fried chicken fast-feeder continued its run of weird and wonderful ad concepts by airing a four-hour Facebook Live session with Super Deluxe of cats playing with a kitty climber constructed in the shape of its esteemed founder.

Who: KFC, Wieden + Kennedy Portland

Why we care: Four hours. Four. Hours. FOURHOURS. And you know what? A reported 700,000 people stopped by to check it out. Which is of course insane but, hey, with all the dark, depressing realities of the world, maybe we all need a few brief moments (or, like, 240 minutes) of fried chicken commercial absurdity.


Helsingin Sanomat “The Land of Free Press”

What: To mark the summit meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Trump, the biggest newspaper in the host city posted billboards reminding the two leaders about freedom of the press.

Who: Helsingin Sanomat, TBWA Helsinki

Why we care: Sometimes an advertising medium oft-thought as old school and outdated refutes these knee-jerk reports of its demise by illustrating just how great a canvas for creative communication it can be. In short, billboards. Given the direction that press conference went, the campaign was a reminder of the importance of a vigilant and free press to the future of any country’s democratic health.


About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.