Who wins the new Turkish ad … Kobe or Messi?

Greg Keraghosian
Associate Travel Editor
Turkish Airlines

Kobe Bryant might be days away from making his injury comeback for the Lakers, but he’s already made a strong return to the viral-video world. In a Turkish Airlines commercial released Tuesday, Bryant co-stars with soccer superstar Lionel Messi for Round 2 of their epic travelling rivalry.

This time, their duel centers around a very 2013 travel meme: selfies and photobombing. We’ll let you tell us who won, but the two stars play “can you top this” as they fly around the world and take pictures of themselves in awe-inspiring locations.

Is the winner Bryant, who manages to get face-licked by a lion and photobomb Messi in Sultan Ahmet Square? Or is it FC Barcelona's Messi, who accomplishes the rare feat of getting photobombed by a shark and by a photo of himself?  The best takeaway from all this might be that you shouldn’t challenge these guys at anything.

This ad is the sequel to a Turkish Airlines ad posted last December, when Bryant and Messi competed for the attentions of a young fan, eventually losing out to some ice cream. That one went super viral, gaining more than 21 million Youtube views in the first four days and eventually hitting 100 million. After one day so far, this one has about 2.5 million views.

Turkish Airlines made sure to feature destinations that it services: Moscow, Beijing, Maldives, Kilimanjaro, Cape Town, Los Angeles and of course, Istanbul.