New Rolex ad featuring Roger Federer attracts criticism from fans on Twitter

Roger Federer
Roger Federer

A new Roger Federer commercial was recently released by Rolex, one of the world's biggest luxury watch brands. Federer was featured in a video montage to promote the "Rolex Explorer II" watch, but the concept and tone of the ad haven't gone down too well with some fans on social media.

Roger Federer has been a brand ambassador for Rolex since 2006, and has starred in several commercials for the company over the years. The latest one begins with clips of a young Federer dissecting his opponents in his trademark effortless style.

The narrator then asks the viewer, "How exactly do we measure greatness? By numer of titles? The number of Grand Slams?"

The full ad can be seen in the video below:


Fans and pundits have often made the argument that titles shouldn't be the only factor in determining the greatness of a player. And that argument has been made stronger by the fact that three GOAT candidates - Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic - have played in the same era, and have accumulated several unique records.

Rolex echoed that same sentiment in their commercial, with the narrator heaping eloquent praise on Federer. The video sees the Swiss being called the most revered athlete of all time owing to his "grace and elegance on and off the court".

"There's certain things that numbers can't convey," the narrator says. "Numbers won't show that this man plays tennis more beautifully than anyone before. They won't show that this man is the all-time most revered athlete in the world for his grace and elegance on and off the court."

The ad has some aesthetic set-pieces, including a shot of the dial of the new Rolex watch just as the narrator talks about Roger Federer's place in history. The monologue ends with the suggestion that Federer's legacy won't be affected by mere numbers.

"The truth is, from here on out, whatever the scoreboard says, his legend can only grow," the narrator says. "Because in time, Federer's legacy grew more perpetual than any number."

But the video has been met with hostility from a large proportion of fans on Twitter, many of whom are Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal fans. One of them even called out Rolex for adopting the mentality of fans and trying to aggrandize Roger Federer's greatness even though his records are set to be eclipsed.

Here's a look at some of the tweets:

Are the fans over-reacting to the new Roger Federer commercial?

Novak Djokovic (L), Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer (R)
Novak Djokovic (L), Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer (R)

Some have countered the fan criticism by pointing out that an ad usually aims to present the brand ambassador in the best possible light. Moreover, the film by Rolex also refrains from calling Roger Federer the greatest tennis player of all time, instead using the label "most revered athlete of all time" - which might not be way off.

Over the last two decades, Federer has established himself as one of the world's biggest sporting icons ever. With 20 Major titles, an elegant style of play and a squeaky clean off-court image, the Swiss maestro has come to be revered by fans and rivals alike.

In that sense, Roger Federer's legacy does go beyond mere numbers. While he might soon be overtaken by Novak Djokovic in most relevant records, the Swiss' legacy of effortless shot-making and crowd-pleasing tennis could well stand the test of time.

Djokovic is likely to end up as the GOAT in the eyes of most. But as the Rolex ad points out, that is unlikely to affect Federer's place in history.

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Edited by Musab Abid