Amstel Malta’s “We Got Balls ad is a celebration of stereotypes. I don’t know how to put it nicely, but the ad draws the hand of time back for feminism, and totally fails to inspire. Super Falcons deserve better!
Ahead of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, brands all over the world are creating adverts to celebrate women and women’s football. Amstel Malta takes the lead with such campaigns in Nigeria.
As much as I commend their efforts for trying, I can’t help but think that the ad is totally flawed.
We Got Balls begins with five female celebrities – Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Tonto Dike, Tiwa Savage, Ihuoma Linda Ejiofor–Suleiman and Cynthia Nwadiora (Cee C) drinking in a bar. Then came in five super Falcons players – Asisat Oshoala, Onome Ebi, Rita Chikwelu, Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene and Tochukwu Oluehi in uncomfortable evening dresses. The looks on the super falcons faces showed that the ensemble each had on was uncomfortable. With a double finger snap from one of the super falcons, they appear in more comfortable jerseys and boots. After which they were invited to join the earlier seated celebrities for a drink. Then emerged Enyinna Nwigwe to crash the party. He was allowed to join the party after he displayed his national team jersey.
I will move past the animated and terrible acting. I will start by saying that the ad reinforces the already existing stereotype people hold against women in sports. Women in sports are often regarded as Tomboys and unfashionable. The fact that these Super Falcons’ players couldn’t feel comfortable in evening dresses sends the signal that being a woman in sports means that one can’t be glamorous and fashionable. Hence, to be in sport, one would have to choose to forfeit glamour. This is at a time several brands are pushing for visibility and smashing stereotypes.
Why would Amstel have to use their other brand ambassadors? These entertainers are obviously more popular than the Super Falcons’ footballers, and having them together in one advert takes the spotlight from the footballers who the advert should ideally celebrate. The fact that these footballers can’t be alone in their own adverts is something I can’t wrap my head around. Is the advert aimed at celebrating these women too or just the footballers? Or is it an attempt to compare the footballers with the entertainers? This ad should celebrate women footballers and serve as an encouragement to that girl child who would love to pursue a career in sports. But Amstel Malta didn’t get the memo.
The advert’s theme, “We Got Balls” got me cringing. First, I think that the theme is ripped from the German team’s commercial. The German team had the byline, “we may not have balls but we know how to play them”. Here the Super Falcons’ lay claim to “having balls”, which we all know they don’t have. No pun intended. The world over, feminists are pointing us to the need to properly use words and the need to abandon words that can only apply to one gender. This makes having balls a wrong way to describe being confident.
Here in Nigeria, Amstel Malta sees the need to suggest however subtly that women need balls to become. What again is the role of the dude who crashed the party in the advert? Isn’t it enough that the ad says that women need balls, must it really throw in some balls to prove the point? Again, no pun intended.
Amstel Malta took a good initiative to create the ad for the Super Falcons. But not giving them the spotlight in an ad campaign designed for them is a big miss. The advert misses the point which is to inspire Super Falcons. And then inspire the girl child to participate in sports. The fact that Super Falcons is the most successful Nigeria football team makes this the more annoying. They definitely deserve better than what Amstel Malt have done with the ad.
Hopefully, Amstel will get this right next time. Hopefully, more brands will see the need to support and sponsor the Super Falcons in the future.