Cashback ad comes back to bite striker Smolov

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An advertising campaign by digital banking giant Tinkoff has given Russia one of its favourite post-World Cup internet memes.

In a bid to capitalize on football fever ahead of the tournament, the lender launched a TV ad for its Tinkoff Black credit card featuring Russian striker Fyodor Smolov, with late-night talk-show host Ivan Urgant in the role of his coach.

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Urgant’s pep talk ends with his exhortation: “Smolov, what do we need?” Smolov, looking terminally confused, says: “A goal?” – to which Urgant, waving a Tinkoff Black card at him, replies: “No, Fedya, not a goal – cashback!”

After Smolov failed to score the crucial opening penalty of the shoot-out against Croatia in the quarter-finals in Sochi, Russia’s netizens had a field day pretending he took the lesson to heart:

“We need a penalty, Fedya.”

“No, cashback!”