Who Did it Best? Adidas and Nike Launch Similar World Cup Ads

Yesterday, Adidas released another short World Cup ad featuring multiple Lionel Messis from different eras, a concept strikingly similar to Nike's "Footballverse" ad which came out earlier this week.

Adidas and Nike Release Similar World Cup Ads

Adidas' new ad shows the real, modern day Lionel Messi joining four other versions of himself for a kickabout in an empty stadium. Titled "The Impossible Rondo", the 30 second clip visually charts the evolution of Messi from his World Cup debut in 2006 to the current day. One digitally rendered version of him from each World Cup he played at is present, reminding us of the kits worn by Argentina on the big stage since 2006, and also of some of Messi's dodgier haircuts over the years.

The Adidas video comes just two days after Nike's blockbuster four minute "Footballverse" ad, in which we see multiple versions of Ronaldo Fenomeno and Cristiano Ronaldo from past and present competing against each other and a host of other stars in a far-fetched science experiment. Check it out below on the off-chance you haven't already seen it.

Adidas also featured a brief shot of 2006 Messi in their "Family Reunion" video which came out on Monday. These campaigns are surely planned and recorded months in advance of being released to the public, so it's not as if Adidas rushed to put their ads together after seeing Nike's trailer last week.

It's probably a little bit more than coincidence that both brands used the same basic concept. Both strive to use the latest technologies in every aspect of their work and it would appear that semi-convincing digital renders are currently the most state of the art techniques in video technology. Hence their use by the two biggest names in sportswear.

And the Winner is...

In terms of who did it best however, we have to give it to Nike on this one. Although the digital likenesses created for both companies' ads are of pretty much equal quality, we've come to expect something cinematic for these occasions and Nike delivered in that regard. Adidas, on the other hand, opted to keep things a little more simple with two short clips, possibly more to come. They did also give us a look at how the video was made, which is an interesting insight into the technology used.

As the two biggest sportswear brands on the planet, they are in constant competition to outdo each other, be it in terms of boot and kit technologies, or signing the best clubs and players. When Nike launched their Magista boot with its revolutionary sock liner on back in 2014, Adidas followed up with a hasty reveal of their similar Primeknit FS, a concept that never went on general sale.

They obviously didn't want to be seen to be behind Nike in terms of product innovation, but this was a pretty transparent attempt at saying "We're actually working on that too". The ongoing Erling Haaland saga is another case of Swoosh and Stripes going toe to toe, much like they did for the signature of Paul Pogba back in his Juve days, with Adidas coming out on top in that particular duel.

Whatever Nike does, Adidas want to do better, and vice versa. In this instance of the similar World Cup ads, who do you think comes out on top? Let us know in the comments.