Many World Cup themed advertisements try to elicit profound emotions unify a nation in the quest for international sporting glory (and commerce), but it's going to be difficult to top the Banco de Chile commercial starring survivors of the 2010 Chilean mining accident entitled "Nothing is impossible for a Chilean."
Thirty three men survived a record 69 days inside a collapsed mine in the Atacama desert, capturing the attention of the world shortly after the 2010 World Cup. And now, four years later, they have returned to that mine to deliver an emotional message to their national team before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
In the Bank of Chile ad, the men return to the mouth of the mine that nearly became their rocky grave. There, miner Mario Sepulveda gives a moving speech telling Chile's team to courageously fight against all odds, remembering how the miners overcame death itself.
Then, the miners collect sand from the Atacama desert in jars that they hope to send to the team to be poured wherever they play. In the end, the group breaks into a chant of ''Chi! Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Le!'' - for the country's name.
''My message to our Chile team is that we're going to win. They have the talent and a whole country behind them and they must battle until the end,'' Sepulveda, the public face of the miners, told The Associated Press. ''There are harder things in life and you can conquer them. Chile will not only pass to the second round, but it will surprise everyone.''
Yes, it's an ad for a bank, but when a man who sat in death's belly for 69 straight days returns to that place and tells you to fight to the death, you're going to do it. Even for viewers who can't understand the language Sepulveda is speaking, the passion with which he delivers his message is enough to make his point clear and effective.
Chile have a talented team, but they also have a tough road in Group B with 2010 finalists Spain and the Netherlands (plus Australia). After watching this, they could probably beat 11 Ronaldos, though.
Between this and the Chilean beer ad that has national team players in memorable horror movie scenes, Chile is destroying the rest of the world in the World Cup advertising game.
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