Chile is once again rallying around the miners who were rescued after being trapped underground for 69 days. However, this time, the 32 men who survived the mining accident are not asking for food or prayers, but rather for support for the country's soccer team as it heads into this year's World Cup.
And "32 men" is not a typo. Thirty-three workers were rescued; however, one of them was from Bolivia and is not featured in a new commercial from Banco de Chile. The bank is an official sponsor of the Chilean team and published its new commercial on YouTube on May 27.
The minute-and-13-second video is narrated and hosted by survivor Mario Sepulveda, who is no stranger to such tasks. Dubbed "Super Mario" during the rescue efforts, Sepulveda found himself in the spotlight for the commentary he would offer on the videos that the miners filmed underground. The clips were transmitted to the rescue team using a telecommunications system.
"In this same place we were trapped for 70 days, the earth had swallowed us," Sepulveda says in the beginning of the clip, returning to the area with his 31 co-workers behind him. "It was then when we had to prove what we were made of."
Intertwined with the clips of Sepulveda talking are the aforementioned videos filmed during the 2010 rescue efforts, along with clips of the Chilean soccer team. Sepulveda recalls feeling the support of millions in the country throughout the miners' ordeal.
"That's why we will take this soil to Brazil to the practice field of our national team," he continues. "To fill it up with hope and courage and show the world that nothing is impossible for a Chilean."
The dramatic score builds as Sepulveda asks, "Spain is tough? Netherlands is tough? We don't fear the 'death group.' We don't care about death because we defeated death before!"
Super Mario (not to be confused with Italian soccer star Mario Balotelli) is referring to Chile's draw for this year's World Cup. The country is placed in the same group as Spain and the Netherlands, along with Australia.
Perhaps taking a cue from Adidas, the campaign emphasizes the idea that "nothing is impossible." Banco de Chile's ad has more than 1.1 million views online.
"My favorite ad of the year," commented one YouTube user who runs a fan page for the German FC Bayern Munich. "Just brought a tear to my eyes."
The World Cup is set to begin on June 12 in Brazil.