World Cup 2014 Ad Recap

Ahora estoy triste porque perdió ayer la Albiceleste.

Translation: I’m sad now because the Albiceleste lost yesterday.  (That’s Argentina’s team nickname.)  But that’s as much soccer as I’ll discuss in this post.  Instead, I’m going to talk about some of the great ad campaigns that decorated the media landscape over the past month.  As you probably know, the World Cup unifies the world every four years through soccer, even though for the most part, rivalries run as thick as quicksand.  However, you know you’ve entered marketing nerd-dom when you look forward to a sports event not for the sports action, but for the commercials.  So, for your viewing pleasure, here are some of my personal favorite commercials from the World Cup that are actually great examples of integrated social media marketing, when you factor in the prevalent use of hashtags.

Nike, #riskeverything, Wieden + Kennedy (who else?), Portland, OR

Adidas, #allin, TBWA/Worldwide

Hyundai, #becausefutbol, Innocean, Huntington Beach, CA

Coca-Cola, “One World, One Game”, Wieden + Kennedy (again, who else?), Portland, OR

McDonald’s, GOL!, DDB, Chicago

As you can see, these ads depict more or less the same content – people from different nations linked together by passion for the sport of soccer.  What’s interesting to me, however, is that over the course of the World Cup, some brands managed to perform better than others through online engagement.  Nike, for example, had the most-viewed campaigns of the tournament, with “Risk Everything” taking 122.2 million views and “The Last Game” taking 97.1 million.¹  Also, Hyundai reported that its #becausefutbol campaign generated over 17 million Twitter impressions, and generated over 200,000 interactions.²

But how did this happen?  One explanation is that some brands have achieved higher international equity than others.  Another possible explanation is timing.  Like the Super Bowl, some brands released their ads even a couple months before the tournament, so that would generate more engagement because those ads had a head-start.  Finally, I would argue that although these ads are very similar in tone, they depict different sides of the tournament.  Hyundai’s #becausefutbol campaign was so successful because it portrayed stories of the World Cup off of the playing fields – a guy rushing home from work, trying to tune himself out from the results of the day’s game, people partying and making babies following a big win, and two people engaging in a freestyle ball-dribble battle on opposite sides of a car.  When you take the game off the field and into the hearts and minds of your consumer, it brings the excitement of the game home to them, and makes it real in their hearts.  After all, the World Cup is driven by excitement and passion, and the people who watch the game are just as excited as those who play it.

Any good campaigns from the World Cup that I didn’t mention?  Send them to me on Twitter.  Now that there aren’t any big advertising events left this year until Christmas, I don’t know what else I could recap.  There is the Little League World Series, but companies who sponsor that have repeated the same ads over the past few years.  Besides, it’s more fun to watch those games.  I’ll figure something out.

By the way, I’m still working on that accounting firm map I told you about a few weeks ago.  It’ll take some time, particularly because I’ve become submerged in my last grad school class, but it’ll get done.  Promise.  🙂

Talk to you soon!


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