5 World Cup marketing campaigns that caught our attention

Just under two weeks into the World Cup and there has already been many surprising results. The England team have won their first two tournament games, against Tunisia and Panama, with 18 million people tuning in to watch their 2-1 victory and 6 -1 win. Russia has managed to prove their pre-tournament critics wrong, winning their first two games against Saudi Arabia and Egypt, giving them the best start any hosting country has ever had. Finally, as we were finishing this post, Germany went out in the group stages! However, with many companies jumping on the World Cup bandwagon with their marketing campaigns, it seems the matches haven’t been the only thing catching the audience’s attention. As one now expects, when the World Cup rolls around every four years, businesses large and small look to capitalise on the event in ever new and creative marketing campaigns. So let’s take a look at some of the biggest campaigns that have dominated this year’s competition so far.


  1. Interactive Budweiser Campaign

One of the biggest global campaigns to be unveiled was by Budweiser, who is the official beer of the World Cup. Unsurprisingly, they released a series of short video advertisement’s to be featured on TV. However, they have also taken the opportunity to target a younger demographic with their marketing by partnering up with the social media platform Snapchat. It came with its risks, since Snapchat’s age policy is 13 and upwards, meaning they had to be careful they weren’t encouraging underage drinking. The brand said they were confident their campaign didn’t reach under an under-18s audience, but this remains to be seen. Underage drinking aside! The innovative campaign launched the first sound activated Snapchat Lens, designed to respond to the sounds of frenzied football fans. In addition to this, Budweiser is also releasing a ‘Snappable’ lens which is a new form of interactive technology that encourages users to share their experiences with friends through playing augmented reality games. Budweiser are establishing a reputation for embracing new technology in their marketing (who could forget their noise-activated beers cups), using it effectively to engage their target audience and generate a buzz.

  1. Nike VS. Adidas

With Nike and Adidas being two of the biggest sports brands in the world, it’s no surprise that they have spent huge sums of marketing budget battling for consumer attention during arguably the biggest sporting event in the world. In terms of video marketing, both brands released ads that were emotionally engaging and it seems Nike came out on top in that battle, by scoring a higher percentage of engagement amongst fans. However, with Nike and Adidas focused on each other, upcoming brands, such as New Balance, are gaining World Cup market share by adopting a different approach. With their biggest rivals allocating much of their marketing budgets to expensive sponsorship deals, New Balance has focused their strategy on engaging consumers through social media campaigns. During the World Cup, New Balance has successfully used social media influencers on YouTube to gain brand awareness and consumer mind-share.

  1. MasterCard Controversial Campaign

MasterCard’s recent World Cup social media campaign, entitled ‘Goals that change lives’, made waves for the wrong reasons when they experienced a Twitter backlash. The insensitive campaign drew criticism across the board with users describing it as ‘’easily the worst marketing I’ve ever seen’’. The crux of the campaign centred around the company’s promise to give 10,000 children a meal for every goal scored by Messi or Neymar, inspired by the drive to eliminate world hunger. Predictably, the campaign provoked a wave of verified Twitter users criticising the campaign, arguing it was a cruel proposition and ‘’why not give them the meals anyway?’’ Although the football players were proud to be a part of helping change people’s lives, many argued it was the wrong type of issue to include in a World Cup marketing campaign and management should have realised before going forward with it. Since the recent uproar on Twitter, MasterCard has decided to discontinue their campaign and instead adopted a target to donate 1 million meals by the end of the year.


  1. Paddy Power Pledge

In a similar, but more well-received campaign, Paddy Power has offered to donate £10,000 to LGBT charities for every goal scored by Russia as part of their campaign. As with many of the World Cup marketing campaigns, this one is being backed by celebrities, including Caitlyn Jenner, Danni Wyatt and Gareth Thomas. With Russia unexpectedly winning both of their first matches and scoring a total of 8 goals in the process, Paddy Power has already donated £80,000. With home advantage and momentum on their side, you’d bet Russia has still got more goals in them.


  1. Coca-Cola

No global sporting event of the magnitude of the World Cup would be complete without the drinks giant Coca-Cola getting in on the marketing campaign act. This year is no different, with Coca-Cola launching a series of video ads soundtracked by Jason Derulo and AC/DC and a set of limited-edition numbered cans so you can make your match score predictions.  The third of their ads takes an innovative approach and employers virtual animations of players from the FIFA 2018 game. A pre-release version was launched in Time Square earlier in the year on what was hailed as the ‘’first 3D electro – Kinetic Billboard’’ in the world. The ad is part of a strategy to appeal to a younger demographic, in which they have also teamed up with EA Sports FIFA 2018.


We hope this has given you some inspiration for your marketing this World Cup and don’t forget to let us know your favourite World Cup-themed marketing campaigns!


#MarketingTitbits – entrepreneurs, branding, Pepsi

social-apple-pepsi-smaller1. Insights from the world’s best social entrepreneurs
There is a new type of entrepreneur emerging, one who see business as a way to fight poverty and focus on developing products that the third of the global population who live on less than $2 a day can benefit from. These people are known as social entrepreneurs and include the likes of Sam Goldman, Jordan Kassalow and Prema Gopalan. For them, creating products to improve the life of the people who need it most is not only a huge business opportunity, it is a moral duty.

Their mission is to change the world and they have shared some of the strategies they are using to do just that.

  • Hiring local individuals who have the drive to change things in their community but also know the local market is a key to success
  • Think about the bigger picture and how the impact of your product can go further than what one organisation is doing
  • Encourage competition, it means that more people are trying to solve the same problem that you are
  • “You have to be dedicated to a cause. It’s mission, not money, which is the great motivator of people.”

To find out more about the social entrepreneurs who are changing the world and how they are doing it, click here. 


2. How Steve Jobs ignored the rules of branding

Steve Jobs, the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple Inc. was an inventor, marketer and once upon a time was an entrepreneur just like you. Apple Inc. has been named the most admired company in the United States by Fortune Magazine and the world’s most valuable brand in the Omnicom Group’s “Best Global Brands” report.

To acquire this status, Jobs changed the rules of branding; he didn’t pursue the standard checklist and knew that imitating somebody else’s success would never yield success. The brand that is ‘Apple’  maintained consistency in their products, operations and services and left their competitors to create naff computers with colourful lids and rubbish ads that made the simplicity of Apple look even better.

Steve Jobs taught marketers that “You must deliver a great business. The brand will be the words and emotions people use to narrate it.” To read more about how Apple changed branding as we know it and what tips you can take away from this, click here. 


3. Pepsi Max do augmented reality

Last month, Pepsi Max surprised London commuters with an augmented reality experience. They set up a camera and played the normalities of the street onto a screen next to the bus stop bench but added a few extra features to the scenario.

They have recorded the reactions as tigers chase passers-by and flying saucers appear in the sky. To watch the video, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – Twitter, Slogans, Colours

Twitter-slogans-colours2-smaller1. Twitter ‘Buy Now’ button appears for the first time
Twitter have added a new feature to your news feed which you may have already noticed. The ‘Buy now’ button was first spotted last Monday and by clicking it users can buy the product from a website called Fancy.

So far, the button has only been appearing on the mobile version of the social networking site and it could be that the button is an experiment or an accidental release. To read more, click here. 


2. The winning straplines that stand the test of time

“Just do it”, “I’m lovin’ it” and “Making life taste better” are three examples of memorable straplines from some of the brands we love. Despite the plethora of inspired straplines, there is a real overabundance of forgotten slogans that didn’t catch on, or were just plain awful!

Picking a good slogan can be hard but Marketing Week has written an article helping to do so. To read the full article, click here. 


3. Can you identify these brands by their trademarked colours?

Colour is one of the first things that you notice about a brand and often the most memorable. When you think of the colour blue you might think of Twitter, Ford and HP or for red Levi’s, Coca-Cola or Vodafone.

Different colours connote different emotions and usually a brand’s colour scheme will be heavily influenced by the emotions they portray. To see if you can identify popular brands by their trademarked colours, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – personalisation, McDonald’s, Wonga

personalisation-mcdonalds-wonga-smaller1. Google’s UK sales chief: it is criminal for brands to avoid personalisation
According to Google’s sales director, Martijn Bertisen, brands are still reluctant to “put faith into mobile”, even though 60% of consumers now wish for personalisation on the platform.

At the annual IAB Mobile Engage event, Bertisen explained that although mobile searches have now overtaken desktop searches in 10 of Google’s most advanced markets, marketers are unlikely to even be ready for mobile at the most basic level. So, with consumer demand growing for further personalisation of their experiences, what’s next for marketers?

Bertisen believes that those who push into the wearables industry and speak to each individual consumer in a personalised voice will be the ones who succeed.

To read more, click here.

2. The 8 craziest ways McDonald’s has tried to boost sales

Last week marked a big birthday for the world’s biggest fast-food chain, as it celebrated the opening of its first restaurant. And to commemorate the milestone, Entrepreneur has compiled a list of some of the strangest methods that McDonald’s has used to boost the brand in the past.

From starting a delivery service in New York, to hiring a Mythbuster to talk about pink slime, it’s clear that the some are certainly less than conventional. But what do you think about Ronald McDonald’s new makeover and the brand’s terrifying new mascot, Happy?

Click here to take a look at more of their strangest moments.

3. Wonga looks to rebuild battered brand as it pledges new ‘responsible’ marketing drive

Pay-day loan firm, Wonga, has revealed its new approach in the reshape of its marketing strategy, ditching the ‘Wongie’ puppets and creating a campaign surrounding ‘credit for the real world’.

The switch follows a string of high-profile controversies that have occurred over recent years. Some issues the brand has had to deal with include compensation payments, banned adverts and multiple incidents of public criticism. Wonga are hoping to overcome this recent backlash by focusing on the improvements they are making to people’s day-to-day lives.

For more on the brands improvements, click here.

Google top brand for 2010

The Brandz report for 2010 has just been published and it is no surprise that Google are top with their brand value increasing 14% over the last year, to a huge $114 billion.
The top 100’s total brand value exceeded $2 trillion! That is just shy of the $2.2 trillion GDP forecast for the UK in 2010 from the IMF.

Indeed in a period of extreme economic hardship and uncertainty, the overall value of the Brandz top 100 increased by 4%. However, part of this increase could be attributed to the inclusion of Oil & Gas companies for the first time.

The big gains, as you would expect, lay in the technology industry and highlight the massive importance of innovation in this sector. Brands like Blackberry weren’t even in the top 100 5 years ago, however, now it ranks 14, with a brand value of just over $30 billion dollars.

The report highlights the importance of defining a brand on more than just product and service excellence, it needs to be founded on deeper ideals and values:

‘The biggest share price gains will be made by brands which aren’t afraid to stand for something. They will go beyond the functional, to represent an ideal, which appeals across products, categories and cultures.’

One of the most interesting areas of the report focuses on the role of Social Media and brand building. Those of you still questioning the importance of social media as part of your business’ marketing mix should take notice. Widespread adoption of this medium by many of this year’s top 100 brands, shows it is here to stay.

The report cites examples of brands as diverse as HSBC, Ford, Evian, Coca Cola and Starbucks, all employing social media campaigns to compliment their more traditional marketing methods.

The WPP study makes an interesting read and provides insights into brand building, relevant to even the smallest organisation.

To access the full report visit: Brandz Top 100 Most valuable global brands 2010.

Is marketing your midfield general?

Every team has its manager, who defines the team’s strategy and objectives. In much the same way, businesses have their managing director or CEO to play this role, defining the business’ mission, strategy and objectives.
It is the responsibility of the captain to marshal their players on the pitch and deliver their manager’s strategy and achieve their objectives.

Your business needs a similar function as the captain on the pitch. It needs an individual or department that is responsible for communicating your strategy and business objectives to the different departments of your business, and pulling them together to work in partnership to achieve those objectives.

We believe that marketing is that function.

Now where does your captain and key player sit within the team? For us, it has to be in the centre of everything. They must play the role of creator, developer, communicator, motivator, the central hub of the team, through which all the play goes, a midfield general if you will.

Marketing should take this place within your business.

It should not sit on the periphery of the game, coming in to play every so often. Many businesses see marketing in this way. A necessary evil, linked to sales and advertising. We believe this is entirely the wrong perspective to take on it.

Marketing should be the MD or CEO’s best friend, their ‘captain’ in the business, ensuring that the business works most efficiently to achieve its objectives. It should operate a central role within your business, helping to strengthen your position within the market place, ensuring you keep providing services or products that satisfy your customer’s needs better than your competitors, and at a profit.

So if you are keen to improve your business’ performance, take a look at the role marketing is currently playing in your business, and think about moving it to the centre.

Top 3 branding tips (May)

1. Talk to your existing clients and target audience members and discover what they look for in a business they work with? See if any common factors crop up, what values do they see as important? Consider aligning your brand with these.
2. Look at your competitors. What positions do they occupy in the marketplace? Try mapping on to a graph the various positions held in the market by your competitors, against two key categories i.e. price vs. product variety or age appealing to vs. innovative services / products.

You will quickly see if there are any gaps in the marketplace for a new brand. But be careful to look at why that gap exists, you may find there is a very good reason why no businesses operate there.

3. Be consistent. Once you have defined your brand values, what you stand for and how you will conduct business, make sure you communicate them consistently, across every aspect of your business. It is counterproductive to have a great website that presents you as a luxury brand, then send a poor quality home printed brochure to a potential client. Likewise make sure your marketing mix aligns with your brand values. If you have an innovative brand, make sure that is communicated through your marketing material. Be consistent with your logo, your corporate colours. It should all serve to build a clear identity of what your business looks like and what it stands for. If you send mixed messages, the customer will be unsure as to what they are getting and is likely to become insecure with you offering.

Top 2010 Global Brands Announced

2010 Top Global Brands
Each year Interbrand conduct a survey to help identify what the top global brands are. 2010’s top 30 is made up from the familiar names but who made it too top spot? Microsoft, Google and Coca Cola all featured highly, although UK-based brands made up just 6 of the top 100 brands in the survey, with none figuring in the top 30.

The world’s top 30 brands

2010 rating/2009 rating, brand value ($)/percentage change from last year

1. (1) Coca-Cola 70,452/2 per cent

2. (2) IBM 64,727/7 per cent

3. (3) Microsoft 60,895/7 per cent

4. (7) Google 43,557/36 per cent

5. (4) GE 42,808 47,777/-10 per cent

6. (6) McDonald’s 33,578/4 per cent

7. (9) Intel 32,015/4 per cent

8. (5) Nokia 29,495/-15 per cent

9. (10) Disney 28,731/1 per cent

10. (11) Hewlett Packard 26,867/12 per cent

11. (8) Toyota 26,192/-16 per cent

12. (12) Mercedes-Benz 25,179/6 per cent

13. (13) Gillette 23,298/2 per cent

14. (14) Cisco 23,219/5 per cent

15. (15) BMW 22,322/3 per cent

16. (16) Louis Vuitton 21,860/4 per cent

17. (20) Apple 21,143/37 per cent

18. (17) Marlboro 19,961/5 per cent

19. (19) Samsung 19,491/11 per cent

20. (18) Honda 18,506/4 per cent

21. (21) H&M 16,136/5 per cent

22. (24) Oracle 14,881/9 per cent

23. (23) Pepsi 14,061/3 per cent

24. (22) American Express 13,944/-7 per cent

25. (26) Nike 13,706 4 per cent

26. (27) SAP 12,756 5 per cent

27. (25) NescafÉ 12,753/-4 per cent

28. (28) Ikea 12,487/4 per cent

29. (37) JP Morgan 12,314/29 per cent

30. (30) Budweiser 12,252/4 per cent

Source: Interbrand

You can download the full report from Interbrand at Top 100 Global Brands 2010