A view from UnRuly

Do we love Ronaldo enough to watch Monster Headphones take him out for tea?

Social video expert Unruly reviews the latest viral by Monster Headphones.

"The spot does give Ronaldo the opportunity to be genuinely charming, cracking wise while his hordes of admirers move ever closer"

6 / 10

Celebrities and advertising go together like a horse and carriage. Whether you’re looking at fragrances or fashion, bank loans or bottled water, nearly all brands have employed a familiar (and usually symmetrical) face to sell their goods. Depending on the ad, a successful celebrity-campaign partnership can be good business for both sides, conferring public confidence on one and giving further exposure to the other.

This dynamic is even more fascinating when it comes to sports celebrities. For example, David Beckham seems to have spent the majority of his post-footballing days stripping down for fast fashion. Thanks to brands like H&M, Beckham is just as famous as a model as he ever was as an athlete. Similarly, Michael Jordan’s relationship to branding is the stuff of legend, and it’s interesting to see that as Steph Curry’s NBA career rides the same trajectory, his ad campaigns follow suit.

By this logic, Monster Headphones should be more than happy with their partner in Cristiano Ronaldo. After all, the Real Madrid forward is beloved, movie-star handsome and, lest we forget, one of the greatest footballers of all time. It’s this tremendous public appeal that Monster plays on and, to an extent, parodies in its latest spot with the athlete.

Keep it simple

Despite the unwieldy title ‘Cristiano Ronaldo Was Just Going Out For Tea And This Happened’, the spot is remarkably simple. As Ronaldo sits down in a local cafe for the aforementioned tea, the camera simply watches as members of the public sidle up to ask the star for a photograph. What begins as an apologetic trickle of "Excuse me, may I…?" quickly turns into a torrent of photo-hungry fans. Monster even includes a handy key to illustrate just how many photos the poor millionaire has taken.

There are several things to appreciate about Monster’s new spot. First, the thought of Ronaldo ordering back-to-back chamomile teas is inherently funny, and we won’t hear otherwise. While his predilection for the herbal tea is never explained, we’re guessing FIFA considers a double espresso a performance-enhancing drug. Jokes aside, the spot does give Ronaldo the opportunity to be genuinely charming, cracking wise while his hordes of admirers move ever closer.

No thrills template

This is Monster’s second major campaign with the star, following up the wildly successful prankvert ‘Cristiano Ronaldo In Disguise’. Similar in its documentary style, that spot showed Ronaldo donning a fake beard to show off his fancy footwork against members of the public. Shared nearly 3m times, it set a hugely replicable template for Monster’s future work with Ronaldo. All you need is a couple of cheap cameras, a public place and one of the world’s most famous athletes and – hey presto! – you have a hit on your hands.

The question is, does Ronaldo’s latest misadventure live up to the brand’s previous hit? While the new spot does have moments of levity, the concept simply isn’t as memorable, nor does it take advantage of the skills of its star – kicking a football. Watching him being swarmed by fans, you can imagine that this concept would work just as well with any sufficiently famous celebrity.

The ad has been shared only a few thousand times so far, but that’s still early days. Time will tell whether there’s a limit to what people will watch celebrities doing – even if it’s just drinking chamomile tea.