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 – Google, app, social media

google-scent-socialmedia-smaller1. 10 Google Doodle is celebrating the World Cup in style

For those of you who use Google, you are probably now used to the company celebrating historic moments through their Google doodles. The animations, interactive games and imaginative cartoons have been used in the past to celebrate things such as Valentine’s Day and the birthday of the Rubik’s Cube.

However, this month Google have been brightening up the search engine with a new Google doodle for every day of the World Cup. If you have missed these ingenious doodles then click here to see all of them. 


2. This app can send scented text messages

Last week, a Harvard University professor unveiled a brand new app for the iPhone. oSnap has been developed by him and his students and allows the user to send text messages accompanied by a photo and a scent to one another.

The app lets you take a photo and then asks you to tag scent notes that go along with it, up to 8 in total. The message is then sent and the user on the other end can use the oPhone to receive the photo and accompanying smell. Despite the fact that the phone is currently only available at the Natural History Museum in New York and Le Laboratoire in Paris, the team are currently raising support hoping to make the phone available in homes.

To read more, click here. 


3. 19 social media fails of this year so far

Especially for those who are new to it, it can be hard to find the right content to use on your social media channels. Our first piece of advice is to find content that is relevant to your followers and post as regularly as possible.

Our second piece of advice is to not do what these people have done. Have a look at this article from Econsultancy that highlights some of the most cringe worthy and horrific social media fails of the year so far, enjoy!

#MarketingTitbits – Keep Calm.., World Cup, speaking

slogan-videos-speaking-smaller1. Keep Calm and Carry On – the unlikely success of a failed slogan
“Keep Calm and Carry On” is now one of the most iconic British slogans. The slogan itself, as well as various interpretations, is used all over the world on a wide range of merchandise.

Despite being produced in 1939, the original poster was not seen by the public until 2001 when a second-hand book shop owner found a copy in a box of books bought at an auction. The poster was displayed in the bookshop and they began selling reproductions later that year.

To read more about this slogan and its place in today’s society, click here.


2. 20 best branded Vines and Instagram videos from World Cup 2014

As you probably already know, the World Cup has finally come to a close with Germany taking the trophy. This is a great time to look back on the last four weeks and the many brands that have cashed in on the football tournament.

We’ve seen tropical, ‘Brazil’ inspired flavours of vodka, sweets and even fried chicken. Have a look at this article from Econsultancy that highlights the best branded Vine and Instagram videos of the last 4 weeks. To read more, click here. 


3. 7 bad speaking habits that turn people off

Last year, author Julian Treasure gave a TED talk showing that anyone can speak effectively and exactly how to do it. As well as giving tips of what you can do, he outlines exactly what not to do and explained about bad speaking habits that you should eliminate.

To find out what the main bad habits most of us are guilty of are, click here.