Our 5 Favorite World Cup Ads


Like most Buffalonians — and Americans — we’ve caught a pretty dramatic case of FIFA fever. The 2014 World Cup has banana-kicked itself into our collective consciousness, and fans (and non-fans) across our city, country and continent are united in their love for fútbol.

Almost as exciting as the action on pitches across Brazil is the battle for the World Cup advertising supremacy. We’ve seen some amazing work over the past few months — here are some of our favorite spots.

Beats By Dre: “The Game Before The Game”

This motivational ad displays how the pre-game rituals of athletes, entertainers and fans around the world include some serious time spent rocking out with Beats by Dre headphones. The nearly-six-minute spot opens with Brazilian soccer star Neymar, Jr. as he prepares for a Cup game, and then shifts the focus to other stars like as Lil Wayne, LeBron James and Serena Williams.

The ad has 19 million views. If you weren’t sold on soccer, Beats by Dre might change your mind — or at least convince you to drop $250 on new cans. Credit for this work goes to R/GA, whose deft touch at integrating Beats by Dre and sports stars into visually stunning ads has been lauded by industry publications like Ad Age.

Nike: “The Last Game”

This animated spot features some of the world’s best soccer players — Neymar (again!), Luis, Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and more — in a soccer dystopia where dynamic athletes have been replaced by a team of flawless clones (the German squad?) who don’t believe in taking risks.

Tired of their comically preposterous new jobs and desperate to save the beautiful game from boredom, the stars (led by Ronaldo) rally for one winner-take-all match — and, more importantly for Nike, a chance to win the great World Cup 2014 branding war.

Reviews of the spot have been largely positive. From Ad Week:

Some will say the cartoon lacks the muscle and flesh-and-blood weight of real soccer footage. (Indeed, sports ads fetishize real action shots to an almost absurd degree.) But Nike is acknowledging here that “real” sports footage in advertising is hyper-stylized anyway—only one step removed from animation. Why not take it that extra step, particularly if you continue to keep the craft at the highest level?

The spot has a whopping 56 million views. Another coup for Nike’s longtime agency of record, Wieden + Kennedy.

Adidas: “House Match”

This ad — which has garnered over 17 million views — stars senior legends David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Gareth Bale and Lucas Moura, who show off their still-sharp skills in the unconventional environment of ‘Beckingham Palace.’ Prepare for amusement as the four pros turn DB7’s crib into a personal pitch, and nearly wreck the joint in the process. Victoria would NOT be happy about this.

TBWA/Chiat/Day — the agency behind some notable athlete-focused work like Pepsi’s Jeff Gordon Test Drive, Gatorade’s Lightning Bolt campaign, and Nissan’s Heisman House — created this ad for adidas. Nice job.

McDonald’s: “Gol”

The trick shot / “buckets” phenomenon has not been ignored by soccer aficianados. Rather than focusing on World Cup stars, McDonald’s decided to go a more unconventional route, showcasing ‘ordinary’ people with extraordinary skills in locales around the world. Some of these tricks are as eye-popping as anything we’ll see in Brazil.

McDonald’s has received around five million views for “Gol,” and probably deserves many more. DDB Chicago gets credit for putting together this spot.

By the way — the woman in high heels with crazy soccer skills? That’s Argentinian supermodel Fiorella Castillo. And yes, she really is that good.

ESPN: “Time Zone”


In this minute-long spot, ESPN goes globe-hopping to show the passion and dedication of the international soccer fan. Displaying how universal this event really is, you get a taste of how each culture supports their team in the Cup. “Every four years,” the spot proclaims, “the world has one time zone.”

The ad has roughly 1 million views and was created by — you’ll remember this name from the Nike video — Wieden + Kennedy.

Bryan McAleer, ESPN’s associate director of sports marketing, recently discussed the concept behind “Time Zone:”

The spot started with a simple insight: every four years, the world basically functions on one time zone: World Cup. No matter what time of day, no matter what the circumstances, fans will find a way to get in front of a screen to watch the match. It’s the only sport that the phrase “the whole world is watching” isn’t disingenuous or cliché. We wanted to show fans from around the world, different cultures, different situations all engaging in the same act, preparing to watch a big World Cup match, in their own unique ways.

Enjoy the rest of the World Cup, everyone. And let’s go, USA!

Digital short has message: Address Your Mess


Our digital contest for Uncle Bob’s Self Storage is entering its final week, and the pressure is increasing — who will win the grand prize, which includes airfare and three-day spa vacation for two at the Madarin Oriental, Miami and $500 towards a professional organizer? We have two more weekly winners to add to our Winners’ Circle (it could be you if you enter now!) and we’ll pull a grand prize winner from the group of eight on June 30.

To help keep the contest in the public eye over these final days of the promotion, we produced a video short that we and Uncle Bob’s are sharing heavily in social media. Our goal was to create a quick, funny video that would catch people’s eye and — ideally — entice them to enter the user-generated content-fueled competition.

We shot the video in the driveway of Quinlan Creative Director (Digital) Frank Conjerti’s Kenmore, N.Y. home. Local comedy writer and cameraman Andrew Pasquale filmed the short, Quinlan Director of Content Ben Kirst wrote the script, and Quinlan Vice President of Digital Ryan DiMillo provided on-site direction. Frank starred in the video along with Gabrielle Farah, an aspiring model / photographer and member of the Buffalo Jills. Frank also provided post-production for the film.

Addres Your Mess video shoot

“Projects like these are a lot of fun,” Ben said. “Everyone was really engaged in the creative process and — on an extremely tight schedule and a self-imposed austerity budget — we came up with something that’s sexy, colorful, and funny. And that’s just Frank.”

Learn more about Address Your Mess at the contest microsite.

The Life of an Intern: Meet Grace


An “intern-view” with Grace Gerass, Quinlan’s new intern for the summer.

What school do you go to and what year are you?

I am going in to my senior year at Fredonia.

What is your major?

I am majoring in public relations with minors in business administration and leadership studies.

What do you enjoy most about your major/chosen career path?

I am lucky to attend a school with a strong alumni connection and a chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. My professors, supervisors, and fellow classmates/alumni are always supportive and available for help and advice. I love that this sense of community and networking is extended across the field.

How did you find out about Quinlan & Company?

Fredonia has a great alumni connection. My current boss, Ben, is a Fredonia alum and visited Fredonia to speak to a group of students. While he was there, he spoke with Mike Barone, the Director of Public Relations at Fredonia, about an intern for the summer. I was interning with Mike at the time and he recommended I apply for the position. It was a great fit!

What department are you interning with and who is your boss?

I am interning in the digital department as a digital content coordinator. My boss is Ben Kirst.

What do you hope to learn in the future while working at Quinlan?

I hope to learn how to manage my time effectively in order to balance work for multiple clients.

Other Favorites:

Movie? Any of the Harry Potter movies. I started reading the series in second grade and have been hooked ever since.
Hobby? Reading, although I do not do it nearly enough!
Spot to travel? New York City
Interesting Fact? I am currently the president of the Public Relations Student Society of America at Fredonia.

Quinlan Teams with Uncle Bob’s to ‘Address Your Mess’


It’s always a great success when teams are able to put their heads together to accomplish their goals. For the past six weeks, Quinlan has been hard at work developing and executing the Address Your Mess campaign for client Uncle Bob’s Self Storage.

Vice President of Operations Ryan DiMillo led the inbound concept and strategy for the campaign.

“In a world with too many choices and not enough time,” DiMillo says, “consumers pick and choose the content they want and then discard the rest. Address Your Mess is a rare low-budget, national, multimedia, mobile-optimized, conversion-focused, 100% inbound marketing campaign.”

The Address Your Mess campaign launched on May 5 and will be an ongoing effort until it wraps up on June 29. The eight-week contest encourages consumers to share their organizational needs—by showing us their mess.

To enter, you must submit a photo or video of a cluttered, messy room in your home or apartment. Contestants can share links to their friends and followers, and site visitors must then vote for the photo depicting the messiest room.

But what fun would this be without prizes?

Weekly Prizes: Each week, the entrant whose photo earns the most votes wins a $100 Amazon gift card, an Uncle Bob’s prize pack, and a spot in the Winner’s Circle. Once in the Winner’s Circle, you have a shot at the grand prize.

Grand Prize: Luxury! The grand prize winner will receive a 3-day, 2-night stay in the award-winning Mandarin Oriental, Miami. The winner will also receive two half-day spa treatments and a free session with a local professional organizer—to help address that mess and make a plan to defeat disorganization in the future.


The campaign, which has been an ongoing team effort, consists of several different tactics:

  • A newly built and designed website for Uncle Bob’s, built by Senior Web Developer Mike Petruniak and UI Developer Michael Belfatto
  • A video placed on the homepage, produced by Creative Director Frank Conjerti
  • Heavy promotion through paid social media platforms led by Ben Kirst, director of digital content. This also includes outreach to over 350 organizers, media outlets and bloggers throughout the country
  • An email campaign to build interest and engagement among participants led by Kirst and Brandon Stenzel, web & mobile UI designer.

“This contest is promoted exclusively through compelling blog content, social media, SEO, email marketing, and by referrals from happy clients,” DiMillo says. “You won’t see it on television, billboards, print advertising, or pay-per-click banner ads.”

Taking on a project of this scale–and in such a short period of time–has shown Quinlan they are able to come together and accomplish tasks quickly and efficiently. It has also given the team confidence for any challenges ahead.

“Once you dive in, these projects can be fun,” says Kirst.“This was a great first step towards creating comprehensive projects that involve everything from technology to marketing. We’re excited to see what the next project of this scale will be.”

Thanks to all members of our digital team for their hard work: Ryan DiMillo, Ben Kirst, Frank Conjerti, Michael Belfatto, Mike Petruniak and Brandon Stenzel. We’re excited for the final outcome.