SBD/Issue 185/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

World Cup Marketing Notes: adidas Unveils Final Video Spot

Watch adidas' "The Quest" Spot

adidas yesterday launched "The Quest," the culmination of its "Every Team Needs" video series promoting the FIFA World Cup that features Brazil MF Kaka, England MF Steven Gerrard, Argentina F Lionel Messi, former France MF Zinedine Zidane and others. "The Quest" invites fans to visit adidas' Facebook page to engage in "Match-ups," which compare abilities and stats of marquee players of key matches in order to provoke debate amongst fans (adidas). Meanwhile, in L.A., Kevin Baxter reports adidas "in response to the critics" of its Jabulani World Cup ball has "launched a damage-control campaign, dispatching many of the players on its payroll ... to counter the criticism." Germany MF Michael Ballack said the ball is "fantastic," and England MF Frank Lampard predicted "a lot more spectacular goals ... and a lot more spectacular misses." Kaka "went even further, grabbing a ball and giving it a kiss last week at Brazil's Johannesburg hotel." Kaka: "Everything that's new, new technology, makes a different impression. But who knows if that won't change during the World Cup?" (L.A. TIMES, 6/9).

MALE DELIVERY: In Manchester, Mark Sweney notes although almost half of World Cup viewers "will be women, with a record number of female viewers expected around the world," most advertisers buying TV slots during the tournament in the U.K. "will still be focusing on men." ITV is asking advertisers "to pay a pretty penny to tap into the massive World Cup audiences," as a single 30-second spot in England's games against the U.S. and Algeria that air exclusively in the U.K. on the net are priced just under US$440,000. ITV's sales operation also is "pushing advertisers to buy into packages of games, or face higher prices for individual matches." Sweney writes despite the "promise of large audiences, such costs are prohibitive for many brands that might otherwise look to go beyond the typical male-focused World Cup ad campaign and target female viewers" (GUARDIAN, 6/9).

Watch Kit Kat's "Cross Your Fingers" Spot

BREAK ME OFF A PIECE: BRAND REPUBLIC's Arif Durrani reports Kit Kat is "successfully hijacking" the World Cup in the U.K. "despite not paying hundreds of thousands of pounds on sponsorship deals like rival Mars." Among viewers who had seen both the Mars ad and a Kit Kat spot, Kit Kat "was the clear favourite, with its 'Cross your fingers' concept described as 'clever' and 'more relevant'" (, 6/9). Meanwhile, MEDIAWEEK's Sara Kimberley reported Kit Kat will sponsor all of BSkyB's World Cup coverage "as part of the UK's largest dedicated mobile campaign to date." The "six-figure deal, brokered by Mindshare, will see Kit Kat sponsor Sky's World Cup coverage across iPhone, iPod Touch, Smartphones and all other WAP-enabled mobile devices" (, 6/7).

NOT VERY SUBTLE: YAHOO SPORTS' Ryan Bailey reported CCTV to raise awareness of its World Cup coverage in China "gathered 22 scantily-clad ladies together at a Changchun shopping center and made them kick a ball around in the mud until neither team was discernable from the other." Bailey wrote China is not known for "salacious advertising campaigns, but that could all be about to change" (, 6/7).

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