The press have recently reported on the slogans chosen by each of the teams taking part in the Brazil World Cup to appear emblazoned on their team bus.
The slogans were submitted and chosen through a public contest sponsored by Hyundai, with predictably varying results.
However, for a copywriter, the whole thing is quite fun – the slogans equivalent of the Eurovision song contest. Here’s my take on each of the entries.
Algeria – Desert Warriors in Brazil
Good – rooted in a point of difference about the country and sounds like the subtitle to an awesome movie. 8/10
Argentina – Not just a team, we are a country
Mystifying statement of fact. Arguably more meaningful the other way round: Not just a country, we are a team. 1/10
Australia – Socceroos: Hopping Our Way Into History
Cheerfully embraces the national stereotype, but ‘into History’ makes it sound like they will soon be history in the negative sense. Drop the alliteration and up the optimism: ‘Hopping Our Way To Glory’. 6/10
Belgium – Expect the Impossible
A mind-bending concept, but at least acknowledges that winning is an impossibility. Given the popular misconception about there being no famous Belgians, I'd have gone with: ‘Audrey Hepburn was technically born in Belgium.’ 4/10
Bosnia and Herzegovina – Dragons in Heart, Dragons on the Field
Should be epic, but somehow isn't. 5/10
Brazil – Brace Yourselves! The 6th Is Coming!
The kind of over-confidence that could end up backfiring badly. But then they are Brazil. 5/10
Cameroon – A Lion remains a Lion
Strong. Suspect the original meaning is closer to ‘A lion will always be a lion’. But the odd phrasing gives it a mystical quality. 8/10
Chile – Chi Chi Chi! Le Le Le! Go Chile!
This is how you write a slogan for a national team. Joyful, optimistic, fun. Contrast with USA. 10/10
Colombia – Here travels a nation, not just a team!
Cross-reference with Argentina. You know what they mean – the whole country is with you. But it says very little. Humour may have helped – Addicted to Victory / The Drugs Do Work. 2/10
Costa Rica – My passion is football, my strength is my people, my pride is Costa Rica
My slogan is lame. 3/10
Ivory Coast – Elephants Charging Towards Brazil!
A stunner – four words, nationally relevant, creating a memorable and massively exciting visual image. The new benchmark for all slogans – it’s good, but it’s not Elephants Charging Towards Brazil! 10/10
Croatia – With Fire in Our Hearts, For Croatia all as One!
Fire in their hearts, rather than Dragons (see Bosnia and Herzegovina), but sounds like they’re trying to convince themselves. 4/10
Ecuador – One Commitment, One Passion, Only One Heart, This Is For You Ecuador!
England – The Dream of One Team, the Heartbeat of Millions!!
Completely unEnglish line. Two exclamation marks? (Although in its favour, at least it’s not ‘Keep calm and score goals’.) In honour of the John Barnes goal against Brazil, they should have gone with ‘Get round the back’. 3/10
France – Impossible is not a French word
Seems to have been lost in translation, as ‘Impossible’ definitely is a French word. Reminiscent of George W Bush’s ‘The trouble with the French is they have no word for ‘entrepreneur’.’
Germany – One Nation, One Team, One Dream!
Ghana – Black Stars: Here to Illuminate Brazil
Poetic. Sounds disconcertingly race-fixated until you realise it’s a play on the national flag. 7/10
Greece – Heroes Play Like Greeks
Given the way they won Euro 2004 and the fact these slogans are being printed on the side of a bus, they should have gone with ‘Where do we park this?’ 3/10
Honduras – We are one country, one nation, five stars on the heart
So many of these slogans are obsessed with numbers. And a country is a nation, so the repetition grates even more. 1/10
Iran – Honour of Persia
A dignified slogan which I am not going to criticise as it’s from Iran. 7/10
Italy – Let’s paint the FIFA World Cup dream blue
Stop sucking up to FIFA, Italy. 3/10
Japan – Samurai, The Time Has Come to Fight!
Yes. Solid and whole-hearted embrace of national stereotype. 9/10
South Korea – Enjoy it, Reds!
I want to give this slogan a big hug. 5/10
Mexico – Always United, Always Aztecas
Expect better from the Mexicans. 3/10
Netherlands – Real Men Wear Orange
This is good. Bit of humour, bit of attitude, very Dutch, sounds like a proper slogan. 9/10
Nigeria – Only Together We Can Win
Lighten up, Nigeria. 3/10
Portugal – The past is history, the future is victory
They seriously put ‘The past is history’ in their slogan. 1/10
Russia – No one can catch us
The campest of all the slogans (even the Dutch). Conjures up images of a bare-chested Putin sneaking into the room, tagging you and then running away giggling. 3/10
Spain – Inside our hearts, the passion of a champion
You can just about get away with talking about ‘passion’ when you’re a Mediterranean country (imagine this line spoken by Antonio Banderas), but this still talks about passion instead of showing it. It’s not Elephants Charging Towards Brazil!
Switzerland – Final Stop: 07-13-14 Maracana!
Check Switzerland out with their fancy numerals, no doubt set in Helvetica. 03/10
Uruguay – Three million dreams… Let’s go Uruguay
Rare example of a line that would be improved by an exclamation mark at the end. I worry for their mental state. 4/10
U.S.A. – United by Team, Driven by Passion
Good in the sense it could only have come from America. Straight out of the corporate manual of buzzword collage that is handed out to every MBA student. United by Team? What does that mean? Should have gone with the @usasoccerguy approach: ‘GOALSHOT! Team USA with the deathstrike! #worldsoccerchampionship’ 2/10
All in all, an entertaining tournament, with Chile and Ivory Coast cruising into the final, which Ivory Coast go on to win 12-0.