SBD/June 9, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

FIFA World Cup Advertisers Increasingly Creating Mini Films That Don't Hawk Products

FIFA World Cup ads, "slick and stylishly made ... are more like mini feature films or video games come to life," and all they are "missing is a mention" of the tournament itself or the product being sold, according to Nancy Armour of USA TODAY. But "more so than other big events, companies don’t need to pay FIFA the big bucks to make a claim on the World Cup." Nike "is not a FIFA sponsor, but you’d never know it by its ads." Nike’s “Winner Stays” ad, part of its “Risk Everything” campaign, features Brazil F Neymar, Portugal MF Cristiano Ronaldo, England F Wayne Rooney, U.S. G Tim Howard, Spain MF Andres Iniesta and others "in the kind of pick-up game every kid dreams of." Beats by Dre and Samsung "have equally star-studded rosters, touting products that have nothing to do with soccer." Younger consumers "are more partial to interactive and sharable content, and they’re fluent in all of the mediums where it’s available." A traditional 30-second ad "won’t catch their attention, but a 4-minute video will." The digital view count for Nike’s “Winner Stays” was "at 128.4 million as of May 23, with 92.8 million on YouTube." adidas' "The Dream" -- its main World Cup commercial featuring Argentina F Lionel Messi and Kanye West’s new song "God Level," was "viewed 28 million times in just the first three days after it began airing May 24" (USA TODAY, 6/9).

DIGITAL DOMINATION: In N.Y., Andy Clayton notes in a new adidas World Cup ad, David Beckham "is joined" by Wales MF Gareth Bale, Brazil MF Lucas Moura and former France player Zinedine Zidane "because 'the game never stops.'" The minute-long spot, "filmed by Brazilian 'City of God' director Fernando Meirelles, opens with Beckham and Zidane watching the youngsters Bale and Moura play each other in FIFA 14 on the Playstation." Beckham asks, "Want to play for real?" At that point, the "chaos begins." adidas on Friday shared the ad via social media, and as of Saturday, it had "already been viewed close to 350,000 times" (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 6/7). Meanwhile, the GUARDIAN'S Mark Sweney noted in an "increasingly mobile and social world," the marketing battle around the World Cup "is going digital." Traditional media sectors "including TV and radio are predicted to enjoy their usual advertising revenue bounce." However, the "real winner, if not yet in overall revenue then certainly in terms of where marketing resources and effort are being directed, is social media such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook." adidas "has launched its biggest ever campaign to support its sponsorship of the World Cup and tellingly has opted to spend more on digital marketing than TV ads." adidas "has launched a global TV campaign, fronted by Lionel Messi, but the tag line of 'all in' aims to push consumers to engage on social media platforms" (THEGUARDIAN.com, 6/8).

BEATS TO ITS OWN DRUM: In N.Y., Kaja Whitehouse reported Beats by Dre "has decided against a guerrilla marketing campaign around Brazil’s upcoming World Cup." A source said that despite launching a new video ad starring Neymar and other soccer stars, Beats "won’t be flooding the World Cup’s locker rooms with its fashionable headgear the way it did at the London Olympics." The source: "Call it lesson learned" (N.Y. POST, 6/7). AD AGE's Pathak & Bergen noted in the new five-minute Beats ad, Neymar "is given a pep talk before the start of a big game and asked to 'run like it's the last day of your life.'" He is "wearing his headphones, and the pep talk is interspersed with gorgeous aerial shots of Brazil, as well as scenes of a team bus arriving at a stadium, welcomed by fans and security." The film "features big football names" like France D Bacary Sagna, Germany MF Bastian Schewinsteiger, France MF Blaise Matuidi and Netherlands F Robin van Persie. Along with them are shots of rapper Nicki Minaj, tennis player Serena Williams, Red Bulls F Thierry Henry "and others, all preparing to support their teams" (ADAGE.com, 6/5).

TECH APPROACH: In Toronto, Gemma Karstens-Smith noted World Cup sponsor Sony "announced its newest products in January, and is rolling out special features that appeal specifically to soccer fans." Meanwhile, Panasonic "is using the tournament to show off its new wearable camera, releasing a video this week" of Neymar "scoring an impressive goal while wearing the Panasonic A500." Like a GoPro, the camera "gives viewers a chance to see the shot from Neymar’s point of view" (TORONTO STAR, 6/7).
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