World Cup marketing winners

Spain emerged bruised, battered but victorious last night (11 July) after 120 minutes of combat against Holland in the World Cup final but which brands triumphed off the pitch? Marketing Week considers the tournament’s marketing winners.

Bavaria at the World Cup

1. Bavaria Beer

Arrests, intrigue and Robbie Earle. The Dutch beer brand’s World Cup had it all. Past-masters at ambush marketing, Bavaria was at it again in Holland’s group game against Denmark when 36 easy-on the-eye female fans were ejected for wearing orange mini-dresses with the brand’s name featuring in tiny letters. As if such strong-armed tactics were not enough, two of the 36 were arrested.

Already PR manna from heaven, Bavaria lucked out when ITV pundit Robbie Earle was sacked after it emerged tickets he had been given for family and friends had been passed on to the Bavaria 36. Bad for him, more free media for Bavaria.

Nike Write the Future campaign
Nike Write the Future campaign

2. Nike/Adidas

The two sportswear giants continued to slug it out for football supremacy – tit-for-tat between chief executives claiming sales dominance and a seeming battle to out-do each other in the advertising stakes – but I would call their tournament a draw.

Nike’s “Write the future” ad led the way, but Adidas’ Star Wars themed ad had its fare share of the World Cup wow factor. Nike might have had some of the more marketable ambassadors at its disposal – Rooney, Ronaldo, Kaka, Drogba et al – but it was the Adidas kit sporting Spain that took top honours and Germany most of the plaudits.

Just do not mention the Jabulani ball.

To watch the Nike ad click here

To watch the Adidas ad click here

Carlsberg campaign

3. Carlsberg

If comments left on Marketing are anything to go by, Carlsberg’s guts and glory “Team Talk” ad featuring England’s great, good and Steve Davis would definitely take the title of most rousing World Cup spot.

England’s abject failure to spark at the tournament aside, Carlsberg leveraged its partnership with the national side in a manner that should lead to a bump in sales. Sales promotion, point of sale, digital and TV work all shone.

To watch the ad click here

Irn Bru
Irn Bru campaign

4. Irn-Bru

Despite making no reference to the South African tournament, and featuring mention of a nation that has failed to qualify since 1998 – Scotland, the soft drink brand’s “Bruzil” was one of the most inventive World Cup marketing efforts.

It called on Scots and Brazilians to “get together” to enhance “the Scottish footballing gene pool” in time to qualify for the 2034 World Cup via a series of viral videos and, so it claimed, a poster campaign in Rio.

Certainly the quirkiest campaign and most resonate to its Scottish stronghold.

To watch the ad click here

Specsavers campaign

5. Specsavers

Not only did the optician run a quick-off the mark tactical ad in the wake of England’s goal that never was against Germany using the strap “Goal-line technology… from £25”, it also prompted laconic BBC summariser Mark Lawrenson to quip in response to a questionable refereeing decision during the final, “should have gone to Specsavers”. Now that’s what I call ambush marketing.

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