Strange commercial partnerships are now part and parcel of modern football. Manchester United have an official paint partner… Kansai Paint if you were wondering. Arsenal have an official formal wear partner, Chelsea have a deodorant partner, the list goes on and on.
This means it takes something pretty incredible for a commercial move by a Premier League club to create any sort of noteworthy backlash on social media, with fans becoming
so desensitised to these bizarre practices.
Step forward Manchester City, who have managed to produced an advert so cringe-inducing, so transparently corporate and out-of-kilter with the current mood of the club, it has united rival followers of the beautiful game in universal condemnation.
In a video made to promote the club’s partnership with car manufacturer Nissan, Kyle Walker, Kevin de Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan star in a James Bond-inspired film trailer called ‘A Little Bit Quick’.
The action flick begins with Walker – sorry ‘Special Agent Walker’ – sat in a car next to an unidentified bearded man, dressed in a white suit and just generally looking rather uncomfortable.
The next scene is even more disconcerting, with the video cutting to a fedora-wearing Gundogan – sorry ‘Dark Illy Commander of the World’ – spinning round in a chair and stroking a fluffy white cat in true Bond villain fashion. The badly green-screened images of a shark tank behind him adds nicely to the absurdity.
In contrast to his two teammates, De Bruyne gets off fairly lightly by only having to make one fleeting appearance. The Belgian’s only involvement is in a short shot when he is seen walking towards the camera with Walker, accompanied by some Windows Movie Maker-level of explosion effects in the background.
The video reaches a much-needed conclusion with Gundogan’s face being badly imposed onto a clip of someone driving a Nissan, with the German international spitting out that timeless line: “You’ll never take me alive, you losers!”. Goosebump-inducing stuff Ilkay, congratulations.
Do not forget… this was only the trailer. Expect a feature length Manchester City x Nissan James Bond remake to appear on your timelines soon, as long as the Cityzens’ Twitter admins still have the bottle to release it after today’s obscene backlash.