Nike’s Cyrano de Bergerac Inspired Soccer Ad

Nike recently unveiled an new soccer themed ad with a focus on the French national team. Now what makes this ad exciting is that the soccer footage is cut to a reading of the duel monologue from Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac. The duel monologue is one of the play’s best scenes and one of the best scenes in theater history. In the first act of the play, after being insulted by a rather silly Viscount, Cyrano challenges the man to a duel. Now, in addition to being a masterful swordsman, Cyrano is a great wit. So to add insult to injury, Cyrano promises to compose a poem while fighting the Viscount, and kill him on the last line. As Cyrano puts it, “when the poem ends, I hit.”

The Nike ad brilliantly captures the spirit of the scene as they show the French team ready for attack. The ad uses the Anthony Burgess translation of the play which keeps the rhyming spirit of the original French work intact. We’ve got the English language version of the ad down below, and the French version is available here. I’m not going to lie, the last shot of this commercial gives me chills. If you want to see the duel scene in action, skip to 1:30 of this clip of Sir Derek Jacobi playing the title role in a 1985 Royal Shakespeare Company production of Cyrano.

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About Michael Darling
Collector of the interesting and absurd.

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