Sketchiest World Cup Ad Yet

By Hua Hsu

Ah, the World Cup. An occasion for Bono and all the rest of us cosmopolitan types to luxuriate in the rich possibilities of a global coming-together. And an occasion, too, to watch on YouTube, over and over, the utterly baffling ways this moment can be represented in advertising. With breasts.

The matches are but a week away, and already there is much rejoicing in the streets naked. In the case of this truly bizarre commercial for Nando's, a South African restaurant chain, the universalism of naked flesh is offered as a knowing (kind of not really) play on how the rest of the world might perceive Africa through National Geographic-branded glasses:

See web-only content:
http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2010/06/sketchiest-world-cup-ad-yet/57698/

That was disturbing.

Probably no more so than Argentina boss Diego Maradona's madman threats to circle Buenos Aires' famed Obelisk sans pants should his absurdly striker-rich squad bring home the trophy. Presumably in this*. For Maradona's sake, we hope his victory lap around the Obelisk will not climax in a recreation of this.

*-More on this next week, when I'll be joined on his page by some laser-sharp, World Cup/South African/footballer haircut-obsessed friends and colleagues.

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Bonus Beats:

-Nike (who else) and The Fader have commissioned a series of "Pitch Perfect" regional mixtapes. The first one, featuring the awesome Maga Bo, is up here (via LTD).

-And in non-multinationals news: a Dublin (?) indie label has commissioned 32 indie bands to write songs about the 32 nations in the World Cup. More info on the always entertaining Football and Music blog.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2010/06/sketchiest-world-cup-ad-yet/57698/