Magic Hat has recruited scores of football stars in a campaign
riddled with tongue- in-cheek references to their chequered pasts for
the sports brand, Admiral.
The two 60-second cinema ads mark the first time that the 70s brand icon
has produced broadcast advertising. Magic Hat, part of the
McCann-Erickson UK Group, was appointed as the company’s first ad agency
earlier this year.
The ads feature former soccer greats including Bobby Charlton, Emlyn
Hughes and Terry Venables, as well as the current Chelsea player, Dennis
Both executions are set to the Happy Mondays’ song, Step Up. The first
opens on Venables, clad in the football manager’s obligatory sheepskin
Driving down a busy market street, a cab pulls up alongside him. It is
driven by Wise, who was cleared of charges of attacking a cab driver
outside Venables’ club a few years ago.
Venables then walks down the market and is handed a brown paper bag by
the stallholder, David Seaman, referring to an accusation of bribery
Happy Mondays’ Sean Ryder then passes a ball to Venables, who kicks it
through the window of a bakery - owned by Charlton.
The scene is accompanied by commentary from Stuart Hall.
The second ad features Hughes and is based around England’s famous
defeat by Poland in 1974.
Admiral, which is famous for producing the first replica football kit,
now plans to promote itself as a fashion rather than simply a sportswear
The ads, written and art directed by Magic Hat’s Simon Aboud, break at
the end of the year. Aboud also directed the ads through the production