Advertisers are throwing their budgets at data, social networks and editorial to exploit fan demand for content, marking the first World Cup where broadcasters will have to battle to retain viewers in the online arena.
Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of viewers intend to watch match highlights on a computer, 23 per cent on smartphones and 25 per cent on a tablet, according to advertising company Comigo. More than half (54 per cent) plan to watch online videos of completed matches.
World Cup sponsor Adidas is betting heavily on the jump to multi-screen viewing after honing YouTube, Facebook and Twitter production techniques around the Champions League. A media room is being primed to spot how and what World Cup content fans are sharing between channels and craft platform-specific content. Instead of rehashing content that everybody has already seen, when a crucial goal is scored for example, Adidas would offer an analytical breakdown or some in-depth analysis of the boot worn via a path to purchase.
The opportunity for disruption has convinced Budweiser to ramp up its social and digital video efforts. Instagram and Facebook hubs will churn out content from the Budweiser Hotel on Rio’s Copacabana beach next month, while the brewer has also created two online shows with Vice and Fox Sports.
Jennifer Anton, marketing manager at World Cup sponsor Budweiser UK, says: “We have embraced using social media within the business at AB InBev and we have teams and agencies specifically dedicated to social media and its corresponding metrics. There is a growing content management and connections team that helps assess the right touchpoints for the brand beyond beer conversations but going into lifestyle and affinity for sport and music.
”Facebook and Twitter are going to play a big role in how we activate around the World Cup. That’s not to say they weren’t in 2010 [during the last tournament] but we’re going to be using all the insights we have learnt during this time to connect with consumers around what we feel is going to be the biggest social media conversation ever.”
The multi-screen battleground has aided non-sponsors using digital platforms to bypass FIFA rules to protect official partners and access the same audiences as their official counterparts. Volkswagen has created an online platform to bring together fans before and during the tournament as it looks to push sponsor Hyundai for eyeballs this summer.
Elsewhere, Prism-created content for Johnson & Jonhson’s Listerine brand encourages people to consider the importance of oral care beyond cleaning their teeth by revealing what your mouth goes through during a World Cup – nail biting, food, shouting, drink, and badge kissing.
Broadcasters have also changed their offering to advertisers. ITV is rolling out a flurry of advertising products it hopes will commercialise the full 90 minutes of a football match, ranging from streaming services for fans unable to watch live games on TV to interactive adverts.
Joe Weston, account director for Adidas at We are Social says: “The rules of sports marketing have changed and by going into the real-time space brands are competing against broadcasters. The challenge is creating a programme of compelling content that’s going to convince viewers to visit your page for insight into the World Cup and Brazil rather than stick with the BBC.”