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Our top 5 World Cup marketing campaigns

World Cup marketing campaigns have had to cover even more bases and become even more integrated following the rise in the influence of social media since the last World Cup in 2010. Here’s a list of the five we’re most impressed with.


World Cup marketing campaign #1 – Adidas

Adidas make the official match ball for the 2014 World Cup. After years in development and testing, the company are rightly proud of what they’ve achieved. The ball may be engineered to be rounder, truer and more consistent in all playing conditions but what you’ll notice first are its colours. With its distinctive look came the opportunity for a distinctive name. Adidas cleverly kicked off its campaign in September 2012 when it asked a million Brazilian fans to name the ball.
‘Brazuca’ as its now known, is currently reaching one million fans on Twitter, with an account that cleverly tweets from the ball’s point of view. The brand story is backed up with a GoPro camera inside the ball which allows fans to see it go through the tunnel and meet football fans and Hollywood stars such as Samuel L. Jackson. There’s no way to be closer to the action and this idea is absolutely genius! As a result, Adidas expect to sell 20% more ‘brazucas’ in the United States 2014 alone than they did of the last World Cup Ball.

“‘Brazuca’ is currently reaching one million fans on Twitter, with an account that cleverly tweets from the ball’s point of view.”

In addition, Adidas is running an ‘All in, or nothing’ campaign. Their ‘House match’ advert features a dream kickabout in a house with international football stars including David Beckham. Adidas is also partnering with YouTube to broadcast interactive shows through which fans can submit questions for stars via social media.


World Cup marketing campaign #2 – McDonalds

McDonalds ‘GOL!’ campaign is both child-friendly and fun. First it released a video featuring incredible 100% real trick shots by football enthusiasts from around the world – some of them children. It’s all by way of getting viewers to buy fries in order to download the McDonalds World Cup app featuring several games including an augmented reality game around its fries boxes. In a nice touch it’s also changed the design of its fries boxes to feature World Cup themed artwork by 12 different artists from around the world. Who doesn’t want to play #fryfutbol?


World Cup marketing campaign #3 – ‘Beats’ by Dr Dre

It may not be an official sponsor but Dr Dre’s gorgeous cinematic ‘The Game BeforeThe Game’ advert captures all the dedication, focus, and passion that goes into the beautiful game. Almost religious in feel, we’re allowed into the minds of football, tennis and basketball players, and to see their preparation rituals as the tension builds unbearably for five full minutes. Of course, they’re all wearing Dr Dre ‘Beats’ headphones. It’s brand storytelling par excellence, and impossible not to be drawn in, even if you’re not into football. The Apple owned company has become well known for its controversial guerrilla marketing tactics – including viral videos and sending free samples to key people. Added to that, World Cup players have been seen wearing ‘beats’ headphones by choice in their downtime – despite the ban on them by official sponsors Sony. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons….


World Cup marketing campaign #4 – Coca Cola

Coca Cola’s largest ever marketing campaign is about community and global spirit. To kick off, they commissioned a new limited edition design for their can from Sao Paulo Street Artist Speto using Brazilian gold and green. Coca Cola also wanted to celebrate real people playing football, with a series of documentary style adverts featured otherwise isolated communities using the game to connect to the wider world. This is unity through football. They’ve also created a digital photomosaic in the ‘happiness flag’ and have an official FIFA World Cup anthem.


World Cup marketing campaign #5 – Volkswagen America

This isn’t an official FIFA campaign at all, just an incredibly cheeky hijack of all things World Cup. The company is using an ambush marketing video to promote its Golf GTI. The official car of the tournament is Hyundai but that hasn’t stopped Volkswagen America paying for its ‘Goooooooolf Celebration’ videos to play on ESPN.com and Univision.com whenever a goal is scored. Each one features a Golf GTI painted in the national colours of the country that’s just scored, driving around the pitch to the sound of ‘Goooooooolf’! instead of ‘Goooooal!’ Its innocent exuberance reminds you of all the times you’ve wanted to throw your shirt over your head, and run around yelling after your team scores, even if you’re not playing. Well, what’s wrong with wanting to get in on the game?


If you need help designing an integrated campaign with a strong brand story, talk to one of our marketing specialists today on 0845 2606 255. We’ll score a winning campaign for you.


Steve Lodge :Steve trained as a NCTJ journalist and is an experienced copywriter. He has over 15 years in agency, and started Oxygen in 2002.

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