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The greatest youth sports commercial ever, damn it

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Don’t you hate when you see a really good ad that you know is trying to manipulate you, and you’re powerless to resist? One that makes you hate yourself, the company, the advertising agency and anyone who’s in the room seeing you weep? Well, the folks at the Florida-based supermarket chain Publix — well, probably its ad agency — have come up with such a spot.

It’s called “First Game,” and it’s designed to tie in with Publix’s sponsorship of youth soccer. Judging by the YouTube posting date, the ad has been around for nearly a year, but I just caught it the other day thanks to a post by Fatpickled.

Yes, the gender roles seems retrograde, with Mom handling all the groceries. Yes, it is a grocery chain handling the ad, so the family has bought enough postgame food to feed every soccer team from Pensacola to Plantation. Yes, the light piano music is incredibly manipulative.

But damn if the ad agency (I’m still looking to see which one it was) didn’t capture the essence of a child’s first organized game. The nervous parents, the kid who may or may not be adept or paying attention, the dad who isn’t sure what to think when it’s clear his kid isn’t getting the game right away, the parent who’s not sure how the child is going to react when the game is over, the relief when it appears the kid has had a good time. It’s a lot of emotion squeezed into one minute and a shitload of grocery shots, but the ad does it right.

Prepare to be moved, and to hate yourself for being moved.

[youtubevid id=”HtAwOpQBYPI”]

Written by rkcookjr

October 6, 2009 at 12:09 am