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As tennis legend Serena Williams retires, we celebrate her 5 greatest ads

By Taruka Srivastava | Freelance journalist

August 11, 2022 | 4 min read

Tennis legend Serena Williams recently announced her retirement in an op-ed for Vogue – an announcement from the 40-year-old that was both shocking and inevitable. The Drum looks back at how the star shook up the sport via her ads.

To celebrate Serena William's legendary career, here’s 5 of the best ads featuring the tennis star

To celebrate Serena Williams’s legendary career, here’s 5 of the best ads featuring the tennis star

Williams remains a top Nike athlete and spokesperson. She is also a budding venture capitalist with her firm Serena Ventures, which focuses on early-stage investments in companies led by women and people of color. Williams is also on the boards of Verizon Media and Survey Monkey, so she’ll be busy in retirement.

But now, The Drum serves up her biggest ads.

‘Get Your TV Together’ by DirecTV

Williams switched from tennis hero to superhero after starring in a Wonder Woman 1984-themed ad for DirecTV. Having a ball with the role, Williams wielded a blinged-up tennis racket instead of a magical lasso and served justice to out-of-control tennis bots. Former player John McEnroe had a less glamorous role, however, after his tennis whites were soiled by a wayward shot from an exploding tennis ball machine. The ad was devised by TBWA\Chiat\Day LA.

‘I Touch Myself Project’ by Berlei

Williams fronted an emotive breast cancer awareness campaign urging women to touch themselves to stay on top of breast health. The sporting superstar recorded a version of Divinyls’ classic song I Touch Myself as part of a campaign by Berlei. The campaign was a tribute to Divinyls’ singer Chrissy Amphlett, who died from breast cancer in 2013 and wanted her global hit to become an anthem for women’s health around the world.

‘Until We All Win’ by Nike

On an Oscars night that was powered by women, Nike debuted an ad showing how Williams overcame her detractors. The spot, by Wieden+Kennedy Portland, showed quick shots of Williams as a young tennis player. The film then flashed forward to scenes of her powerful tennis game. Inspiring stuff.

‘Unmatched’ by Gatorade

Gatorade’s ‘Unmatched’ ad featured footage of Serena Williams as a little girl answering a question from a reporter as to which tennis player she would like to be. Alongside the TV element, 21 pieces of art were commissioned to celebrate each of William’s grand slam wins. Each piece of art was hand-painted on an outdoor wall in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in order to tell the story of her victories.

‘Dream Crazier’ by Nike

Nike celebrated the 30th anniversary of its iconic ‘Just Do It’ marketing campaign in a 90-second spot celebrating the achievements of its athlete stable, from the big World Cup moments to – of course – Williams.

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