SBD/April 2, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Coca-Cola '14 FIFA World Cup Campaign To Be Largest For Event In Company History

Coca-Cola today is launching “The World’s Cup” -- its campaign for the '14 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Coke, an official FIFA sponsor, says it is the largest marketing program in company history. Coke Global Dir of Football Marketing Arnab Roy said, "The biggest one before that was the 2010 World Cup. In 2010, the campaign was run across 160 countries. For the Brazil World Cup, we’re reaching more than 190 countries.” Wieden + Kennedy is Coke’s creative partner on the campaign, which was devised and created over the last two and a half years and focuses on the power of soccer globally. Roy: “Given the way the world is moving, the need to be more inclusive was important. It’s about bringing people together. It’s not about the big stars or the fancy stadiums. It’s about how it affects people around the world.” The campaign includes a series of short documentaries entitled “Where Will Happiness Strike Next.” One film features a championship team of blind players from Brazil who get to touch the World Cup trophy. Roy: “No one is allowed to touch the World Cup except the national team that wins it every four years, but we asked FIFA for permission in this special case because the players are blind and it would be their only way to experience it. FIFA wanted to know if they were the best blind team in the world. When we told them they were, FIFA allowed it. Watching the filming of that segment is something I’ll never forget.” The musical anthem for Coke’s campaign is “The World is Ours” by Brazilian-born musician David Correy (Christopher Botta, Staff Writer).

PROTEST POSSIBILITY: The AP's Rob Harris reports Coca-Cola "has disclosed contingency plans to adapt its World Cup sponsorship and soften its celebratory tone in Brazil if unrest returns to the streets." Coca-Cola Chief Marketing & Commercial Officer Joe Tripodi said that the company "would react rapidly to any protests 'to make sure our messaging better reflected the mood' of the country." Tripodi: "The Brazilian people are going to rise up and support this World Cup in a big way. Do I think there might be some protests? There may well be." A "litmus test of Brazil's attitude now to the World Cup could be when the trophy tour, organized by Coke, reaches its 90th country this month and begins a six-week tour across Brazil" (AP, 4/2).

POP SENSATION: Pepsi yesterday premiered the latest evolution of the brand’s '14 soccer campaign. The "Now" creative, via 180, L.A., is set to air in nearly 100 countries and will feature Manchester United F Robin van Persie, Chelsea D David Luiz, Real Madrid D Sergio Ramos, Manchester City F Sergio Aguero, Arsenal M Jack Wilshere and FC Barcelona F Leo Messi. The spot fuses the world of soccer and music through singer Janelle Monae as she performs David Bowie’s “Heroes." The creative unfolds on the streets of Rio (Pepsi). AD AGE's Natalie Zmuda noted Pepsi's campaign -- its first global campaign for soccer -- "marks the largest global effort yet for both the brand [and] the company: about 100 markets will implement some aspect of the effort." Stony, a YouTube personality "known for putting together digital beats, stars in the spot." But in the campaign, he "comes across an 'everyman,' an intentional approach for a brand known for its celeb-studded campaigns." Pepsi Global CMO Kristin Patrick said, "Celebrity is always going to be an element of this brand. It's definitely part of our DNA, and we're not walking away from that at all, but the idea of making things relatable for this new generation of consumers is really important." Pepsi in all has "19 players on its roster and local markets are given the option to feature players that will resonate in their markets." The campaign in North America will feature MLS Sounders F Clint Dempsey. Patrick said that the marketing agency 180 "had an advantage in that it has soccer roots, having worked with Adidas for years" (, 4/2).
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