Nearly 18 million people have watched Nike Football’s original My Time Is Now spot released in May. Judging by the time many YouTube-ers spent posting nonsensical comments, one has to wonder how many actually got the message.

Knock out events mean there really is no time to waste. The Dutch team came and went with barely a murmur. Yesterday Ronaldo came good. Tonight it was Wayne Rooney’s turn. Nike have thrown the ‘My time is now’ strap-line at so many players this tournament that it had to stick sometime.

Tonight, Rooney’s sitter turned a simple ad within Nike’s broader strategic plan into a marketing masterstroke. The real genius in this campaign – as with many others from Nike – is that while the marketing focus is seemingly on the players at Euro 2012, the onus is in fact on you.

This is (relatively) low-budget advertising, for maximum impact. Ignore the eyeliner; it’s Rooney’s contemplative gaze is what makes this ad work. An acting career beckons, but that’s all in the future. Rooney’s time – like yours – is now.

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