World Cup ads failed to score with consumers

Missing the mark: Consumers said that celebrity endorsed ads were some of the few that performed fairly well

Just a fifth of advertisements that featured the 2010 Fifa World Cup resonated with consumers, according to a report by Ipsos ASI.

The research agency says that most ads during the four-week football tournament were “unbelievable” and “irrelevant” to consumers, who were overwhelmed by an “extraordinary” amount of World Cup marketing in the period. This caused consumers to become “uncertain” about brand identity, according to the Reflections report.

“Consumers might have remembered you were there, but might not have remembered what you said,” the report says.

Official sponsors of the World Cup included Coca-Cola, Adidas, Emirates, Sony, Budweiser, Visa, McDonald’s and Hyundai Kia, but many others sought to associate themselves with the tournament.

The study is based on reactions to 62 World Cup-themed adverts, both from official sponsors and others. Consumers from 12 countries, including the UK, were involved in the sample.

No brands are named, but the reports says that ads featuring celebrities outperformed others, particularly in brand recognition.
Adidas’s Star Wars-themed ad starred David Beckham, Noel Gallagher and Snoop Dogg,

Despite celebrity endorsement, the level of positive feeling the ads produced are still below average. If a featured team or player exited the tournament or played badly, the morale of the audience was low, meaning consumers were unlikely to respond to the ad at all.

Latest from Marketing Week


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


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.


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.


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 3703 or email

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