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Tennis Pros & Rowing Woes: 5 Rio Olympics Ads You Should Watch Right Now

The Rio Olympics are officially about to begin! As we approach the opening ceremony of the world’s greatest sporting event, we thought we’d run you through a list of five of the best Olympics ads out there.

And, with some Olympics campaigns already looking ready to take home the gold, we thought we’d focus on a few of the ads you might not have seen.

This week’s starting line features a triumphant Serena Williams spot from Nike, Jack Whitehall returning to take on Britain’s greatest athletes, and even DFS spreading a little Olympic spirit.

Rounding off the list is a personal and moving spot from BP, highlighting the career of Jessica Ennis, and a powerful entry in Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone’ campaign featuring the voice of the late, great Maya Angelou.

So without further ado, enjoy!


5. DFS – Team GB – Great Brits

In this Olympics spot DFS cleverly compares intense athletic training with the production of some fine British sofas. The ad works well thanks to some great sound design; with its hard cuts between rigorous exercise and industrial tools all matched alongside a strong beat. The 30-second ad is high energy and carries its momentum right through to the end.


4. Nike – Unlimited Serena Williams


Nike’s ‘Unlimited’ campaign consists of a number of spots focusing on a single, exceptional athlete. The ‘Unlimited Serena Williams’ spot has proven to be the most successful so far, and it’s easy to see why. The 7-time Wimbledon champ makes for an enigmatic and impressive lead, and the ad focuses on her storied rise to glory, detailing her childhood and rivalries. William’s own voiceover is complimented by a pulsing beat and strong visual elements.


3. Samsung School of Rio – Rowing with Sir Steve Redgrave and Helen Glover

It’s a pretty well-documented fact that advertisers struggle to make us laugh, which is part of what makes Samsung’s ‘School of Rio’ campaign with Jack Whitehall so impressive. The series of ads (current count is 3) feature the British comedian mocking some of Britain’s most beloved athletes, who all give brilliantly deadpan performances. Whitehall’s trademark obliviousness leads to some great moments, like here when he tells Helen Glover how nice it is that her family – Redgrave – comes out to support her.


2. BP – The Energy Within feat. Jessica Ennis

This slightly subdued spot from BP, starring sprinter Jessica Ennis, was released earlier this week and takes a highly personal look at one of Britain’s most celebrated Olympians. The ad reminds us of Ennis’ break from sports to raise her son and the way she returned only a year later to win a world championship. The ad’s tone is significantly more emotive, with less of a focus on exhilaration, than many Olympics spots and succeeds in making the piece stand out.


1. Apple – The Human family – Shot on iPhone


Apple’s Olympics ad, set to air just before the opening ceremony, successfully manages to fit a message of global unity within its ‘shot on iPhone’ campaign. The intriguing ad features videos and photos from iPhone users accompanied by narration from the late, highly esteemed poet Maya Angelou. Angelou’s poem ‘The Human Family’ is powerful, as is hearing it from the woman herself, and celebrates the differences that make us all unique.