Roger Federer may be an all-time great of tennis but his acting skills, amid a $US300 million ($423 million) sponsorship deal, appear to need some work.
Federer, the 20-time Grand Slam winner, has copped criticism for a “hideously bad” new ad for Uniqlo, in which he is promoting comfy jeans.
Federer plays Bach on the piano in the ad and also hits the viewer with a deep message.
“My time off the court is just as important as my time on, because tennis is just the beginning of my story,” he says.
“I’m just getting started.
“My life. My jeans. Authentic jeans with all-day comfort.”
WATCH THE AD IN THE VIDEO PLAYER
A review of the ad by long-standing Australian advertising magazine B&T was headlined: ‘Double fault! Tennis ace Roger Federer stars in hideously bad Uniqlo ad.’ The ad was also branded ‘truly awful’, largely thanks to Federer’s acting.
“It’s unclear who the agency is that’s behind the rather awful ad, however, a spokesperson for the brand has described the spot as a visual story of the tennis champion ‘enjoying life at home in jeans’,” B&T noted.
Branding In Asia called the ad “less than inspiring”.
“We’re ranking this quite low on the inspiration scale, and let’s be honest, Federer’s acting could use a bit more passion,” the site noted.
Writing for i News in the UK, Matt Butler said Uniqlo had made Federer look bad.
“Poor Roger Federer. The man widely regarded as the world’s greatest tennis player in history is only seven months into his deal with clothing giants Uniqlo and they have already made him look an absolute plum,” Butler wrote.
“The Swiss player is no stranger to toe-curling advertising campaigns, of course. We are of course talking about the man who donned a ghastly, preppy cardigan or an off-white blazer to wear on his centre-court walk-ons during Wimbledon in the Noughties, because Nike told him to.
“But his latest foray into salesmanship raises the face-palm bar way, way higher than a garment which combines technologically advanced fabric and large, easy-to-close buttons.”
Federer announced a 10-year contract with Uniqlo late last year, ending an apparel deal with Nike that lasted more than two decades.
The Swiss legend will remain a face of Uniqlo, the mass-market Japanese retailer, well after his tennis career ends.