Never in the history of professional surfing has an athlete come remotely close to the celebrity status and marketability of Gabriel Medina. As the country’s first-ever shortboard World Champion, Medina has become arguably the most talked-about athlete in his country (second only to soccer star Neymar). His reach, however, goes far beyond the borders of Brazil and South America. Time Magazine, for example, put him on the list of the 100 most influential people, and SportsPro named him 43rd on its list of the world’s 50 most marketable athletes. Additionally, his already impressive online profile boasts the largest social media following of any surfer on tour, and those growing numbers show no sign of stagnation.
As a result of Gabriel’s celebrity status in Brazil, non-endemic brands are lining up to get a piece of the Medina pie. And by no surprise his global appeal in the corporate world is burgeoning. His portfolio is abundant with regional and international brands, covering everything from telecommunications and automobiles to electronics and men’s care products. And who can blame the guy? Some people may resent Gabriel for proliferating the surfing image in corporate world, but, really, who are we to judge? Plus, some of these commercials are utterly hilarious. In no particular order, here are seven of Gabriel Medina’s best non-endemic commercials.
Gabriel is a man. Men are hairy. Here Gabriel shows us how to have skin as smooth as a baby’s bottom while being ultra-hydrodynamic in the surf. Oh, and make sure to check out Sterling Spencer’s rendition of the commercial.
The cancer-causing rays of the sun are relentless, especially in Brazil. Thus, applying sunscreen before exposure to the sun is of the utmost importance for all outdoor enthusiasts. Plus, you don’t want to look like an old, worn catchers mitt by the time you’re 35.
Samsung’s signing with the (at the time) ASP is perhaps the largest non-endemic partnership in surfing history. Since then, Samsung has invested millions of dollars into the surf world to push the Android and stay competitive in the global mobile game. This is just one of the many commercials by Samsung, and probably our favorite.
Oi is the largest telecommunications company in Brazil and South America, both in terms of subscribers and revenues. With $12 billion in revenue each year, they’ve got a hefty budget to work across all sorts of platforms. Bonus points on this commercial for stepfather Charlie getting on Gabriel’s ass to go surf.
5. Guaraná Antarctica
Not much going on in this commercial other than the fact that it’s almost too dark to know what’s going on, but if you drink the guaraná-flavored soft drink you’ll surf like Gabriel. Maybe.
6. Air New Zealand
Hands-down best in-flight safety video of all time.
In addition to flying, traveling surfers – especially those on tour – usually require a vehicle to get around. Nearly every surfer on tour these days reps some car manufacturer. For Gabriel, it’s Mitsubishi. Throw a car my way and you can tattoo your logo on my forehead, Mitsubishi.