Here's Your Definitive Collection Of The Most Heart-Stomping TV Commercial Tie-Ins To The Rio Olympics
NSFW if you don't want a colleague to catch you weeping.
Even people who don't care about sports at all -- hi! -- know one thing about sports broadcasting: every two years, official sponsors of the Olympic games are going to try to outdo each other with ads that highlight athletes' world-class virtuosity, demonstrate the sacrifices they've undertaken to get to the top of their fields, and mercilessly extract tears from viewers. And not just during actual broadcasts of the events, either: these ads creep onto all the networks, lying in wait to attack you with EMOTION, and I am telling you this from bitter, reluctantly throat-choked experience. In recognition of these advertising bastards' sob-inducing effectiveness, here's my collection of the most cryful TV ads of the 2016 Rio Olympics -- in no particular order; the athletes are going to be subjected to enough ranking for the next couple of weeks.
Team Canada: 'Ice In Our Veins'
Let's start slow, with one that might only work on the Canadians. Everyone knows that Canadians typically don't do as well in the summer games as winter, and NO IT'S NOT BECAUSE CANADA IS FROZEN SOLID NINE MONTHS OF THE YEAR but that is part of it. I like that this ad for Team Canada's trip to the summer games can't help featuring so much wintry imagery.
Visa: 'The Heart'
The message of this British spot is that training for the Olympics requires a lot of sacrifice, though none of it apparently involves paying for things with a credit card? Never mind: there's a head-to-toe shot of the hot track and field star all soaped up in a shower.
Gatorade: 'Never Lose The Love'
Being a professional athlete means part of you always stays a kid. Super-duper-cute.
Samsung: 'The Anthem'
If your weepy Kryptonite is the Parade Of Nations, this Samsung ad, which combines dozens of countries' national anthems into one song, is going to hit you hard.
NBC: Fifth Harmony / 'That's My Girl'
If you, like me, are especially moved by female athletes and can't even think about Bring It On's "Second place, HELL YEAH!" without choking up (DAMMIT), beware this all-female joint.
Coca-Cola: Gold Feelings
Coke brings us a show and tell of gold medal-winning moments accompanied by the winners' own descriptions of how it felt. Just a parade of excellence, right here.
P&G: Thank You, Mom
I said these weren't going to be ranked, but I lied. This one -- which celebrates moms' support of their athlete kids throughout their lives -- IS A STONE-COLD KILLER, Y'ALL.