Ambush marketing dominates World Cup searches

The majority of official World Cup sponsors are failing to capture the public’s attention, according to the latest Experian Hitwise World Cup Brand Search Index.

Australian World Cup football team
Australian World Cup football team

With the exception of Kia, all of the tournament’s sponsors have seen their levels of internet searches slump, despite having their logos emblazoned at every match.

Instead of the sponsors who have paid millions to be a part of the world’s largest tournament, brands who sponsor individual teams appear to be the most popular companies searched for.

Qantas, the official airline of the Australian team, saw its searches increase by 154.5% between the week ending 26 June and the week ending 3 July, while the tournament’s official airline South African Airways fell by 29.3% – possibly driven by fans looking to head home after being knocked out.

Other brands that have seen a surge in the week include former World Cup sponsor Gillette, which saw searches rise by 20% despite not being associated with the event this year, while Hertz, which sponsors the Wimbledon tennis championships which were also taking place that week, saw searches rise by 11.1%.

England’s official airline Virgin Atlantic and Germany’s official airline Lufthansa also had a good week with search increases of between 6.5% and 11.1%, most likely related to the England v Germany fixture that week. Marks & Spencer who provided the England team’s suits, also benefited with a 6.5% increase in searches.

“We’ve seen a lot of change in the online performance of key World Cup brands over the last few weeks. Much like the competition itself, no one brand has asserted itself as a clear favourite. Some of the bigger brands have haven’t scored that many online goals during the tournament. Those companies who used digital marketing to quickly adapt their World Cup strategies who will be the ones most likely to emerge as winners,” says Experian Hitwise’s director of research, Robin Goad.

The research comes a week after Nielsen reported that recognition of official World Cup sponsors seems to be on the rise,with Adidas generating the most buzz in the opening weeks of the tournament.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here