Ronaldo’s Homeless Stunt: Is This an Ad?

August 13th, 2015

Earlier this month, international soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo disguised himself as a homeless man with exceptional ball-handling skills and provided validation for why we hold our professional athletes in such high regard.

“…Ronaldo is, for all his wealth and celebrity, a decent man,” The Telegraph in the UK marveled, in response to the videoed stunt that ended when Ronaldo revealed his true identity to a little boy, who in turn received a signed ball from the Real Madrid striker.

The Telegraph called the final act a “heartwarming pay-off” and back here in the States, USA Today gushed about the boy’s countenance, “Isn’t that face priceless?”

Indeed.

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But both articles — and possibly others on the web that sought a momentary spike in traffic by sharing the footage — failed to disclose one important aspect of the viral video. And that is that it was produced as part of a promotion to sell Ronaldo’s new line of ROC Live Life Loud headphones. In other words, it’s an ad (complete with a bit of product placement before the ultimate reveal).

So Ronaldo’s motivation for participation — as one who benefits directly from the sales of said headphones — may not be what you first thought. Is he still “a decent man,” as The Telegraph noted? That’s really not for us to answer.

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