Selling Wimbledon: Iconic ads over 140 years

Creative director of CLICKON, Benjamin Potter explores five of the most influential Wimbledon commercials from the last 140 years

International brands strive to create memorable ad campaigns that tie in with the prestigious tennis tournament from humorous to iconic – and Wimbledon, the quintessentially British sporting event of the year, is no exception. More brands are thinking increasingly creatively with their advertising and sponsored content, and devising engaging content for a younger audience.

Here are my top five most influential ad campaigns from 140 years of Wimbledon:

1. Robinson’s “Imagine” – 2009

You think Wimbledon, you think Robinson’s. The drinks brand has become synonymous with the tournament, with one of the most memorable campaigns being Robinson’s 2009 TV advert. The theme was “imagine” and it centred on Wimbledon gaining a British champion once more. Then this happened in 2013 and 2016 with Andy Murray winning. The ad was recycled and changed to celebrate the achievement after 77 years.

2. Sony’s “Tennis Balls” – 2011

Sony revisited one of it’s most iconic ads in 2011, rehashing and tailoring it to Wimbledon. By tweaking their famous “balls” advert, to make it tennis balls on the streets of Wimbledon, they managed to stay on brand, whilst still focussing on the competition. This also became one of the most visually impressive ads of recent years.

3. Stella Artois “Rufus” – 2014

Not a traditional advert, in 2014 Stella Artois decided to take a different approach with their profile of Rufus, the official bird scarer (hawk) of Wimbledon. By profiling the bird and the troubles with pigeons before Rufus came on the scene, they showed a completely different side of the tournament. The high end feeling of the advert echoed Stella Artois’ brand messaging and also presented a tongue-in-cheek take on the competition.

4. Evian, feat. Rizzle Kicks and Maria Sharapova 2016

Just last year Evian created a music video featuring Rizzle Kicks and former world number one tennis player Maria Sharapova and put it at the centre of their marketing campaign. By using a group like Rizzle Kicks and an iconic young player like Sharapova, Evian were able to attract the younger audience of Wimbledon and tennis in general.

5. Jaguar feat. Andy Murray 2016

Jaguar pitted their cars against Andy Murray in a makeshift tennis tournament on a track, tested Murray’s serve against the acceleration of their cars. Jaguar to showcased their latest models in a light-hearted way, with sporting talent and achievement at the heart of the ad. Also, look out for the identity of the ‘mystery driver’!


– Benjamin Potter is Creative Director & Co-Founder of CLICKON