Coca-Cola released an ad for Icelandic World Cup fans yesterday, Morgunblaðið reports. The ad is notable for two reasons: it is the most expensive ad the company has ever produced in Iceland, and it is directed by team Iceland’s goalie Hannes Þór Halldórsson.
Filming for the advertisement began in San Francisco in April during a team training trip and continued in various locations in Iceland, among them Reykjavík, Akureyri, and Ísafjörður. The ads motif is unsurprisingly the team’s popular “HÚH!” chant and its accompanying “Viking clap.”
“Húh symbolises the heartbeat of the nation. We are together in this as a nation,” said Magnús Viðar Heimisson, the brand manager for Coca-Cola in Iceland.
Magnús says well over 100 people were involved in the making of the advertisement, which features local football teams and Icelandic athletes such as Gunnar Nelson and Sara Sigmundsdóttir, as well as the nation’s most beloved sports commentator Gummi Ben.
Director and team goalie Hannes said he wanted to create an ad that all Icelanders could relate to. “We players may be 11 on the pitch but we still never feel that we are alone out there,” Hannes remarked. “We feel well supported and feel strongly that all Icelanders stand together closely behind us.”
Hannes was approached by Coca-Cola to film the advertisement the day after Iceland qualified for the World Cup for the first time. The competition begins in Russia tomorrow, and Iceland plays their first game on Saturday.