Just for kicks: The World Cup ads people are buzzing about

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Even if you don't plan on watching a single corner kick or clear in the 2014 World Cup, there's a good chance you'll end up catching some soccer action on TV anyway – thanks to all the World Cup commercials.

Some of this year's spots are racking up millions of views online, with totals reaching numbers that would take weeks for a human to count to. Here are some of those attention-grabbing videos.

McDonald's – "GOL!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T7zyezBkuY&feature=kp

Arguably the most-fun of the bunch, the ad goes through a handful of unbelievable trick shots – including kicking a soccer ball up to a bell in a church tower, to a woman in night-on-the-town wear and a man in a motorized scooter showing off some impressive dribbling skills.

The Hollywood Reporter calls it "hard to beat" when it comes to pure viewing pleasure.

Views: 2.85 million

The Sun – "#DoUsProud"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khV6hg0oFEo

British newspaper The Sun put together a music-inspired ad featuring its World Cup anthem. In it, a large line of soccer players head a ball to one another, without letting it touch the ground – all to the rhythm of the song. Each players has a word or two of the track's lyrics on the back of their shirt, and they attempt to keep up. Sort of like a real-life kids sing-along video.

This one has not gained the same number of eyes others have, however.

Views: 31,128

Nike Football – "Winner Stays"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XviR7esUvo

This Nike spot (featuring 14 of the game's most-prolific players) has tallied a whopping 76.2 million views since being uploaded in April.

It features a game that, initially, is being played on a park pitch by a bunch of teenagers. But some of them suddenly turn into stars in-game – and they're eventually playing a giant all-star match in front of a huge, crowd-filled stadium. And trading some funny, lighthearted trash-talk barbs much of the time.

Views: 76.2 million

Adidas – "House Match"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDUIuzIwwTU

One of Adidas' World Cup spots keeps the action indoors, as two young soccer players (Gareth Bale and Lucas Moura) sit on a couch playing a FIFA video game in front of soccer legends David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane. The elder athletes look on in disgust, then challenge the two youngsters to an in-house match. Plenty of fun, fancy footwork can be seen, and plenty of breakable items are smashed to bits.

Views: 14.7 million

More Ads

There are plenty more ads gaining attention online, and a few places have put together larger lists.

ABC News highlights an all-CGI Nike spot, and an Adidas commercial featuring new music from Kanye West.

The Hollywood Reporter took a liking to the first-ever Beats By Dre World Cup ad, as well as a Kia commercial aimed at non-soccer fans, where a super model interrupts American sports to talk about soccer (or, as she calls it, football).

Time likes a Hyundai commercial that shows a man trying to race home to watch a recording of the most recent U.S. match – without getting the score spoiled for him beforehand.

Who is Watching? Not Many Americans

According to The Star Online, about 3.2 billion people tuned their TV set to the 2010 World Cup when it was held in South Africa. This year's Brazil-hosted event is expected to bring in even more eyes, as some matches get broadcast in ultra high definition for the first time ever, the site reports.

But as Freakonomics points out, only a tiny number of Americans watched the 2010 World Cup final – 24.3 million, out of a total global audience of nearly a billion.

Why hasn't it caught on? Freakonmics tries to answer that question in its most recent podcast – but the answer isn't a simple one.

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