The worst ads in A-League history

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While marketing is a powerful tool in igniting passion, the A-League has strived to do anything but that. Instead leaving fans over the years confused, withdrawn and uninspired.

A growing concern for the A-League is decreasing viewership numbers. Although, there are many reasons attributing to this, their lack of engagement with the fanbase is one.

According to Ultimate League, the average game day attendance for the 2020/21 season is below 10,000 people per club. This statistic is coupled by Newscorp, reporting a 29 percent decrease in televised spectators. 

There is no doubt other extenuating circumstances are affecting this number, but it is abundantly clear the A-League continue to misunderstand their audience.

These are a short collection of the worst A-League ads in history. 

5. 90 Minutes, 90 Emotions (2008)

This was the perfect semblance of an ad if the A-League were trying to sell the game to Harry Potter fanatics. 

While this particular ad deserves credit for its fast-pace and high energy, the overall environment became puzzling when fans began levitating from their seats or dissipating into water. 

The A-League were almost on the right track with this. However, they lost touch with the gloom-and-doom lighting and special effects.

4. The first-ever A-League ad (2006)

It was the start of football history in Australia and instead of hyping up an audience and introducing a new sporting atmosphere to Australia, the A-League showcased the durability of a paint. 

While this was more upbeat than the ads later down this list and does not leave the viewer feeling like they have watched paint dry, the overall theatrics were confusing at best. 

There was no introduction of the players. There was no hint of upcoming uniforms, just the casual streetwear. The typical juggling shots leave the audience to yawn, meanwhile the spelling of moves in background using the ball are a cause for concern – is ‘spin’ considered a move?

3. We Are Football (2012)

The 2012/2013 marketers put their focus on community as the core messaged. However, this step in the right direction was dismantled by a poor script and ingenuine cameo footage.

The voice over spouted cliché lines and did not marry with the violin backtrack which made this advertisement feel slower and drawn out.

Football is known for its impassioned fans, but instead of playing off on this up tempo, high energy, they opted to once again drain the life from their fans. 

If it were not for the A-League logo, this ad could have been for anything.

 

2. Made In The A-League (2017)

At risk of sounding like Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, juggling in front of cars? Ground-breaking.

Outside of the overused juggling imagery, the black and white effects overlaying the star players – Tomi Juric, Dylan McGowan, Mark Milligan, Jamie Maclaren – partnered with their monotonous storytelling is enough to put the audience to sleep. 

The old idiom, show not tell, is the perfect example of what the A-League needed to do here. The fans want to see Milligan’s ‘strong drive and desire’ and have a true understanding of how strong Australian talent is.

It is no wonder this was the peak season where the viewer numbers began falling. 

1. The A-League 2009 Commercial 

Perhaps the marketers felt nostalgic over the game ‘bullrush’ and chose to remind Australians of the beloved playground past time by having over a 100 players stampeding on the biggest football field in history. 

This advertisement was nonsensical and although the 100 player wall scene made for a laughable moment, it was still a minute overpacked with basic action shots and a lack of intimate connect with football fans. 

The decision to over-scale the game took away from the classic feeling of the sport.

Feature image credit: supplied

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Jemma Pepper
Covering the Newcastle Jets for the 2020/21 season. Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) and Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (Germany) at the University of Technology Sydney. Seven days without playing football can make one weak!

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