Ad of the Day: ESPN

United and City fans belittle each other in style as the famed Manchester derby comes to advertising

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Listen up, wankers. Two British soccer fans would like a word.

While their French counterparts are spending their time moronically knee-skidding through wheat fields, the fans of Manchester United and Manchester City have more serious business to attend to—namely, denigrating each other in the most colorful language they can find. In this ESPN spot from Wieden + Kennedy in New York, it is certainly colorful—so much so, particularly to the American ear, that it requires a whole second spot to give helpful definitions for most of the insults.

The conceit for the spot is to ask each fan to imagine rooting for the other side. But they simply can't do it. To the United fan, supporting City means you've been doomed since birth to be a moppet, a billy-no-mates, a plonker. To the City fan, supporting United means you're likewise preordained to be a divvy, a minger, a right git. None of these are compliments. Had they been born on the other side of the rivalry, both lads confirm, they'd have no self-respect, no value, no girlfriend (sorry, no "fit bird") and no future.

It's a timely spot—the latest Manchester derby will be played on Sunday—and it fits nicely into the ongoing "It's not crazy, it's sports" theme. We'll ignore the inconvenient fact that British fans often are crazy, renowned for having criminals and bigots in their midst, and focus instead on the more lighthearted core truth here—that ridiculing the opposition's fans is a fundamental, and usually harmlessly amusing, part of sports.

Got that, you tosser?


Client: ESPN

Spot "Born Into It"

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, New York

Executive Creative Directors: Scott Vitrone, Ian Reichenthal

Creative Directors: Brandon Henderson, Stuart Jennings

Copywriter: Dave Canning

Art Director: Cyrus Coulter

Head of Content Production: Lora Schulson

Executive Producer: Temma Shoaf

Brand Strategists: Jason Gingold, Marshall Ball (Digital Strategist)

Account Team: Casey Bernard, Katie Hoak, Alex Scaros

Business Affairs: Sara Jagielski, Kara Driscoll

Production Company: Imperial Woodpecker

Director: Stacy Wall

Executive Producer, Chief Operating Officer: Doug Halbert

Line Producer: Sam Levine 

Director of Photography: Danny Cohen

Editorial Company: Mackenzie Cutler

Editor: Ian Mackenzie

Post Executive Producer: Sasha Hirschfeld

Visual Effects Company: Mass Market

Visual Effects Flame Artists: Fabien Coupez, Drew Downes

Executive Producer: Louisa Cartwright

Producer: Giselle Bailey

Telecine Company: Company 3

Colorist: Tom Poole

Mix Company: Heard City

Mixer: Philip Loeb

Sound Designers: Sam Shaffer, Mackenzie Cutler

Producer: Gloria Pitagorsky

Song: "Beginning of the End"

Artist: Cockney Rejects

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.
Publish date: December 7, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT