Elephants Charging Towards Brazil!

FIFA recently unveiled the slogans that will appear on each of the team buses at the Brazil World Cup. They were chosen through a public contest sponsored by Hyundai, with predictably varying results. But for a copywriter, the whole thing is quite fun; the slogans equivalent of the Eurovision song contest

FIFA recently unveiled the slogans that will appear on each of the team buses at the Brazil World Cup. They were chosen through a public contest sponsored by Hyundai, with predictably varying results. But for a copywriter, the whole thing is quite fun; the slogans equivalent of the Eurovision song contest…

Here is a look at how each nation fares.


Algeria – “Desert Warriors in Brazil”

Good – rooted in a point of difference about the country and sounds like the subtitle to an awesome movie. 8/10

– “Not just a team, we are a country”

Mystifying statement of fact. Arguably more meaningful the other way round: Not just a country, we are a team. 1/10

– “Socceroos: Hopping Our Way Into History”

Cheerfully embraces the national stereotype, but ‘into History’ makes it sound like they will soon be history in the negative sense. Drop the alliteration and up the optimism: ‘Hopping Our Way To Glory’. 6/10

– “Expect the Impossible”

A mind-bending concept, but at least acknowledges that winning is an impossibility. Given the popular misconception about there being no famous Belgians, I’d have gone with: ‘Audrey Hepburn was technically born in Belgium.’ 4/10

Bosnia and Herzegovina – “Dragons in Heart, Dragons on the Field”

Should be epic, but somehow isn’t. 5/10

Brazil – “Brace Yourselves! The 6th Is Coming!”

The kind of over-confidence that could end up backfiring badly. But then they are Brazil. 5/10

Cameroon – “A Lion remains a Lion”

Strong. Suspect the original meaning is closer to ‘A lion will always be a lion’. But the odd phrasing gives it a mystical quality. 8/10

Chile – “Chi Chi Chi! Le Le Le! Go Chile!”

This is how you write a slogan for a national team. Joyful, optimistic, fun. Contrast with USA. 10/10

Colombia – “Here travels a nation, not just a team!”

Cross-reference with Argentina. You know what they mean – the whole country is with you. But it says very little. Humour may have helped – Addicted to Victory / The Drugs Do Work. 2/10

Costa Rica – “My passion is football, my strength is my people, my pride is Costa Rica”

My slogan is lame. 3/10

Ivory Coast – “Elephants Charging Towards Brazil!”

A stunner – four words, nationally relevant, creating a memorable and massively exciting visual image. The new benchmark for all slogans – it’s good, but it’s not Elephants Charging Towards Brazil! 10/10

Croatia – “With Fire in Our Hearts, For Croatia all as One!”

Fire in their hearts, rather than Dragons (see Bosnia and Herzegovina), but sounds like they’re trying to convince themselves. 4/10

Ecuador – “One Commitment, One Passion, Only One Heart, This Is For You Ecuador!”

Ecuabore. 2/10

England – “The Dream of One Team, the Heartbeat of Millions!!”

Completely unEnglish line. Two exclamation marks? (Although in its favour, at least it’s not ‘Keep calm and score goals’.) In honour of the John Barnes goal against Brazil, they should have gone with ‘Get round the back’. 3/10

France – “Impossible is not a French word”

Seems to have been lost in translation, as ‘Impossible’ definitely is a French word. Reminiscent of George W Bush’s “The trouble with the French is they have no word for ‘entrepreneur’.”

Germany – “One Nation, One Team, One Dream!”


– “Black Stars: Here to Illuminate Brazil

Poetic. Sounds disconcertingly race-fixated until you realise it’s a play on the national flag. 7/10

Greece – “Heroes Play Like Greeks”

Given the way they won Euro 2004 and the fact these slogans are being printed on the side of a bus, they should have gone with ‘Where do we park this?’ 3/10

Honduras – “We are one country, one nation, five stars on the heart”

So many of these slogans are obsessed with numbers. And a country is a nation, so the repetition grates even more. 1/10

Iran – “Honour of Persia”

A dignified slogan which I am not going to criticise as it’s from Iran. 7/10

Italy – “Let’s paint the FIFA World Cup dream blue”

Stop sucking up to FIFA, Italy. 3/10

Japan – “Samurai, The Time Has Come to Fight!”

Yes. Solid and whole-hearted embrace of national stereotype. 9/10

South Korea – “Enjoy it, Reds!”

I want to give this slogan a big hug. 5/10

Mexico – “Always United, Always Aztecas”

Expect better from the Mexicans. 3/10

Netherlands – “Real Men Wear Orange”

This is good. Bit of humour, bit of attitude, very Dutch, sounds like a proper slogan. 9/10

Nigeria – “Only Together We Can Win”

Lighten up, Nigeria. 3/10

Portugal – “The past is history, the future is victory”

They seriously put ‘The past is history’ in their slogan. 1/10

Russia – “No one can catch us”

The campest of all the slogans (even the Dutch). Conjures up images of a bare-chested Putin sneaking into the room, tagging you and then running away giggling. 3/10

Spain – “Inside our hearts, the passion of a champion”

You can just about get away with talking about ‘passion’ when you’re a Mediterranean country (imagine this line spoken by Antonio Banderas), but this still talks about passion instead of showing it. It’s not Elephants Charging Towards Brazil!

Switzerland – “Final Stop: 07-13-14 Maracana!”

Check Switzerland out with their fancy numerals, no doubt set in Helvetica. 03/10

– “Three million dreams… Let’s go Uruguay”

Rare example of a line that would be improved by an exclamation mark at the end. I worry for their mental state. 4/10

USA – “United by Team, Driven by Passion”

Good in the sense it could only have come from America. Straight out of the corporate manual of buzzword collage that is handed out to every MBA student. United by Team? What does that mean? Should have gone with the @usasoccerguy approach: ‘GOALSHOT! Team USA with the deathstrike! #worldsoccerchampionship’ 2/10

All in all, an entertaining tournament, with Chile and Ivory Coast cruising into the final, which Ivory Coast go on to win 12-0.

Nick Asbury is a writer for branding and design and one half of creative partnership Asbury & Asbury. This article orignally appeared on the Asbury & Asbury blog and is reproduced with permission.

What's the story?

The Storytelling issue, Oct/Nov 2017, is out now.
We invited writers to respond to our cover image
this month: read their stories inside.
PLUS: Tom Gauld, Oliver Jeffers, Giphy & S-Town

Buy the issue

The Annual 2018

The Creative Review Annual is one of the most
respected and trusted awards for the creative
industry. We celebrate the best creative work from
the past year, those who create it and commission it.

Enter now


South East London


Burnley, Lancashire (GB)