On behalf of parents everywhere, I want to tell the brand and/or marketing manager at Adidas Canada who authorized the FIFA World Cup ad spot featuring Ashley Lawrence they should be sorry.
If you have already paid your agency: ask for your money back. The art is fine. Ashley Lawrence is excellent subject matter. The brand association works. And it’s certainly had a more than sufficient media buy during Women’s FIFA 2023. But…
It’s a mediocre idea badly executed overall.
Sorry/Not Sorry is, of course, just sooooo Canadian. We’re sorry about everything, all the time. It’s our social default. Got it. The stereotype is so overworked it is probably not insulting. But, neither is it creative.
The copy should have been better considered and reviewed. Then, if everyone is OK with it and the risk, COMMIT TO IT, which, ironically, is the point of the ad.
There are four “I’m sorry” stanzas followed by the pay off, “Not sorry” line.
The first 3 of these “apologies” are doubtlessly directed toward Ashley’s parents. By even the most generous interpretation, they are not flattering to those parents. But as it’s obviously leading to an, “I told you so,” for commercial purposes, I’m sure we can all get past it.
The 4th “apology” is as adrift as a hesitant header attempt. Somebody decided that maybe this targeting of parents wasn’t a good idea and “cleverly” redirected the missile toward “impossible.” Just like hesitating undermines a header, this is what makes the ad rubbish. Commit. Hammer the parents. They had other children in mind for success, not Ashley. Say it. Then have her say, “Not sorry.”
All in all: tone deaf or insulting. Either way, it’s just bad and misses the goal.