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Team Chile knows how to psych.
We all know what a World Cup advert looks like by now: cute kids, bit of samba music, strapline about how soccer brings the world together, yadda yadda yadda, stick in Cristiano Ronaldo and it's job done.
So while the Nikes and Coca-Colas and Samsungs of this world do just that — again — it's refreshing to see Chile's official World Cup sponsors abandon any pretence that it's the taking part that counts. Oh no: they want Chile to win. And they're not afraid to get creepy to help that happen.
It's no easy task: Chile have been drawn in the so-called "group of death" that includes both finalists from the 2010 World Cup, reigning champions Spain and runners-up the Netherlands. (And Australia too, but... you know.)
While the Chilean 11 prepare for their first match against Australia on June 13, beer brand Cerveza Cristal has produced a series of ads putting the freaks on their formidable opponents — under the slogan "Chile is scary." Yes, yes it is.
Gulp. Then it's Spain's turn, on June 18:
And finally the Netherlands on June 23:
And if all that doesn't have you cheering for Chile — while looking nervously over your shoulder for Arturo Vidal — take a look at this even more convincing ad by another of the team's proud patrons, Banco de Chile. In which the Chilean miners — yes, those Chilean miners — bellow at you about how they laugh in the face of the group of death and, indeed, actual death.
Right, that's it, we're all buying red jerseys immediately. How could we dare not to?