Jason McAteer says he “loved every minute” of working on the infamous Carlsberg ad in which he scores the winning goal of the 2002 World Cup final.
The ad became a cultural touchstone for anyone who watched the tournament in Ireland and on Monday it was named the winner of the OTBAM World Cup of Sporting Endorsements.
McAteer left no doubts as to what he truly thought of the ad, telling OTBAM: “I think it was one of the best in the world. I know I might be biased but I think it was absolutely fantastically done and I just loved every minute of doing it.”
He added: “I’ve been lucky enough to do a couple of ads in my time, as you know. Some haven’t been great and others have been OK but you never really know until you see the final thing - and you really just see it when it comes on the tele.
“You don’t get sent it, so you just wait in anticipation to have a look at it. Sometimes I’m a little bit disappointed in the way it comes out but I just remember thinking - the music was so iconic at the time, the song was quite iconic so it all just flowed together.
“I was quite involved in the whole Carlsberg campaign because we’d done a poster campaign where I’m actually putting the shirts out of all the teams - like I’d swapped shirts - of all the teams we’d played to get to the final. I think I’ve got the Brazil one in my hand, I’m just about to put it on the washing line in the garden at home.
“Then there’s another one there where they changed O’Connell Street, I think, to McAteer Street and there’s a builder putting up a sign in the street. It was a really, really good campaign but the TV advert just topped it off. I just thought it was absolutely amazing. I’m just disappointed I never went on to bigger things from that. It was an amazing advert.”
But McAteer wasn’t the only famous name involved in its production, as Oscar-nominated director Lenny Abrahamson was the man behind the camera.
“Like Jason, I have lovely memories of it because it was the first ad that I did,” Abrahamson told Ger. “I was fairly new to the whole thing and I’d been making some ads for a while but this was much higher profile than anything I’d done before.
“It was a lovely idea from Alan Kelly, who’s a great copywriter. His idea originally was that we’d re-colour the shirts and it would just be footage of the game with commentary but myself and Jonny Speers came up with this idea what about re-creating the montage that would have been made post-win. That this was the experience we all had. It was just really great fun to do.
“It was great to work with Jason, who was a total pleasure. Then afterwards, I remember being in a really noisy pub and the television was on in the background and the ad came on and everyone was hushing everybody else, which I’d never seen before. It was my first taste of doing something that had that reaction. It was a brilliant buzz.”