With the title for "Best World Cup Advert" pretty much sewn up, Nike's relentless assualt on the footballing public continues with the unveiling of a giant 3D rock billboard in London...
Mimicking that famous landmark Mount Rushmore, the faces of four England stars Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Theo Walcott and James Milner take the place of the traditional four presidents of the United States of America. Nike have planted the billboard on Cromwell Road in West London, taking over the largest advertising site in the UK from today until Sunday 20th June.
The site stretches an massive 75 metres long and is 16 metres high and 2 metres deep - making it the biggest advert in the UK. The ad is predicted to be seen around six million times
in the lead up to the opening fixture alone.
above: Milner & Rooney
The rock sculpture billboard idea began five months ago when each footballer had their face electronically scanned to produce a lifelike reproduction of their features - with each face then being perfected in intricate detail by a team of dedicated craftsmen and sculptors in
a secret location Essex.
above: Walcott & Ferdinand
The words ‘PLAY TO BE REMEMBERED’ have been carved into the rock formation, inspiring the players to give history-making performances on the pitch and follows on from the launch of Nike’s ‘Write The Future’ TV advert last week. With each players face measures 4 metres high alone and weighing 250 kilos, they had to be installed using cherry pickers on the site in West London which took over five days to complete.
With such forward planning and preparation needed for such a massive campaign, not everything can go according to plan. The rumouring news of Walcott's omission from the 23-strong England World Cup squad may come as a surprise to the Nike team just as much as it seems to the rest of the English media. Will we see the advert swap over to a carving of Nike's other mercurial winger talent, Aaron Lennon we wonder....!?