Tag Archives: World Cup

Branding During the World Cup

By: Eliza Borish

For the first time in my life, I am actually interested in watching the World Cup. Maybe it’s because I am older, more passionate about sports or it’s just the idea of patriotism and supporting my country for the red, white and blue. Whatever it is, the World Cup has me hooked. I am not alone in this either; it seems that World Cup fever is hitting America. More than ever before, people in the USA are gathering together in parks, bars and in offices to watch soccer and support our Men’s National Team. Soccer, a sport that is popular in every other region and country of the world is finally reaching America. This doesn’t mean that soccer is now America’s pastime and people in every nook and cranny are joining in to watch. However, what it does mean is that slowly, yet surely, soccer is obtaining a presence here. When we think of top athletes in this country, we are consistently going to think of LeBron James, Derek Jeter, Tom Brady and Jonathan Quick, which is not going to change anytime soon. But maybe, just maybe, after qualifying for the round of 16, people will start recognizing Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones and Tim Howard a little more.

Tangent aside, the World Cup is an excellent time for companies to demonstrate their branding skills and not just with predesigned commercials and stories, but also with quick, witty and real-time marketing. A perfect example of this was when multiple brands such as McDonalds, Snickers, Trident Gum and JCPenny to name a few, speedily reacted to the news that Luis Suarez of Uruguay had bitten his Italian opponent, Giorgio Chiellini. Within no time, these companies took advantage of such news and used Suarez as the butt of their jokes, allowing the brands to stay relevant even in the influx of tweets that occur throughout the World Cup.

For example, McDonalds Uruguay chimed in tweeting “Hola ‪@luis16suarez, si te quedaste con hambre vení a darle un mordisco a una BigMac ;)” (Translation: Hi, Luis Suarez, if you are still hungry, come take a bite out of a Big Mac). Following suit were Trident Gum with “Chew Trident. Not soccer players #ITAvsURU” and JCPenny, “Fangs for the memories, Uruguay #URU” with a picture of a little boy dressed in a vampire costume. The brands allowed the World Cup to help promote their products with a simple tweet. My personal favorite, though, had to be Snicker’s take on the biting scandal. Snickers tweeted, “Hey ‪@luis16suarez. Next time you’re hungry just grab a Snickers. ‪#worldcup ‪#luissuarez ‪#EatASNICKERS” with a photo that read ‘More satisfying than Italian’ #Luissuarez”. Why is this my favorite, you may ask? This is because the Snickers slogan has consistently been “Hungry? Grab A Snickers” and utilizing that traditional slogan to embrace the Suarez controversy is brilliant. While other companies cracked jokes and promoted their brand just using Suarez, Snickers was able to crack a joke, promote its brand and do it in a way that was uniquely “Snickers”. While Suarez did set snickers up by actually biting his opponent, Snickers took advantage of that and incorporated it into their already recognizable slogan propelling their brand (and tweet) further than other brands.

Kudos to the Snickers marketing and branding people who thought on their feet and allowed the tension on the field and in the game to successfully roll over to the Internet and to your brand. While Luis Suarez now has a 4-month ban from FIFA, you, on the other hand, Snickers, have stayed relevant. People aren’t just talking about Luis anymore; people are now talking your delicious chocolaty peanut candy bars and how your tweet was both funny and current.

So while soccer hastily catches on in America, real-time marketing during sporting events, beauty pageants, TV shows and even global news is spreading like wildfire. To stay on top in business, you need to stay relevant and that requires knowing what is trending, like the Game of Thrones finale or the NBA draft. Once you know these things, you can post tweets that are in accordance with live programs and events and capture the large audience that is also watching along with you. Viewers and clients don’t have to be the only ones with opinions tweeting during and after shows. Brands have the same opportunity! And if they market that opportunity correctly by posting a witty or clever tweet in real-time, they can garner attention for their brands and ultimately, revenue.

Don’t let talk be cheap. Take advantage of real time marketing and live interactions. Gain traction for your brand now, just as Snickers did. Hey, while you’re at it, turn on the World Cup to start. If you don’t find anything usable or relevant, watch it for fun and spread it to America. What’s that cheer? I believe that we will win…and now, I believe that we will tweet!

As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.




Who will win the 2014 World Cup: Coke or Pepsi?

By: Jenifer Wetterau

Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo are always battling for consumer attention surrounding big events and the World Cup is no exception. What’s exciting this time? The soft drink giants are battling it out for PR headlines and video content with real-time, interactive branded experiences.

Coca-Cola Company

This year, FIFA sponsor Coca-Cola launched its first global real-time marketing campaign around the World Cup. They will generate insight from social data to analyze and respond to real-time feedback from fans across 14 platforms during the matches.

In April, Coke released a digital “One World, One Game” documentary telling the story of how four football teams from different parts of the world overcame difficulties through their love of the sport. They are backing this with their third “Trophy Tour” which is a 221-day tour that will take the Jules Rimet Prize to every country that has won the World Cup.  People in every city the tour stops in will be able to take a picture with the trophy. Additionally, Coke will be giving out 1 million free samples of soda and branded footballs “to encourage people to take part in more physical activity.” A series of short “Where Will Happiness Strike Next” films will also be captured during the tour further supporting the content drive with real-time marketing activity.

Joseph Tripodi, chief marketing and commercial officer at the Coca-Cola Company, says: “Through ‘The World’s Cup’ campaign, Coca-Cola wants to celebrate real people playing football, demonstrating how the game is a force for a more inclusive and connected world.”


Pepsi is looking to steal Coke’s spotlight with their own World Cup campaign, #FutbolNow with FC Barcelona player, Lionel Messi fronting it. The campaign includes nearly 100 companies and promotes brand ambassador Janelle Monae’s remix of David Bowie’s “Heroes.” The song is used in a TV ad, “Now Is What You Make It” featuring Messi and other World Cup hopefuls and following Icelandic rapper Stony in Rio playing the song on Pepsi bottles and other everyday objects. While watching the ad fans can unlock original content at various points.

Pepsi also created a documentary, “The Art of Football” that explores their art collection of street art, photography and football.

Where I think where Pepsi trumps Coke is by giving fans a unique and immersive experience with their #FutbolNow skills challenge featured on 20 interactive vending machines around the world. A large video screen on the front of the machines allows users to play a motion-sensor football game with free drinks as a reward if you can keep a virtual ball in the air for 30 seconds while doing all the moves prompted on the screen. They are directly getting people who are engaging with Pepsi to simultaneously engage in physical activity.

When you add in a game component you will attract far more people than if you didn’t use something interactive with a competitive component to it. This should prove to be a big winner with hype spreading through word of mouth, rather than direct advertising.

Kristin Patrick, global chief marketing officer for beverages at PepsiCo, says the campaign aims to build on its “long-history” of working with the world’s best football talent. “Our content plan to capture this spirit celebrates the creative passion of footballers with music and how both of these awesome forces inspire us to Live For Now.”

Both of these marketing campaigns are well thought out and will be successful and by connecting people around their favorite soda with fun, interactive content each company is strengthening the perception of their brand. Although I am a diehard Cherry Coke Zero loyalist, I give the trophy to Pepsi this year. In both you get a free soda but nothing beats the sweet satisfaction from showing off your skills in front of friends and strangers to earn the reward and bragging rights!

What do you think of these multi-layered campaigns? Are you more enticed by Coke’s connected world theme or Pepsi’s focus on physical activity? As always we welcome your comments and if you like what you read, please be social and share.


Twitter’s #WorldCup Features

By: Gina Mason

#WorldCup mania has official begun. With a few days of exciting play behind us, people everywhere are eager to see what the next month of soccer has in store. As I mentioned in my SONY and the World Cup blog a few weeks ago, Twitter is expected to dominate the World Cup conversation and its social media competition. So far, that prediction has been pretty accurate.

During the first game of the World Cup, over 12.2 million tweets were sent out from 150 countries with the hashtag #BrazilvCroatia. In just 90 minutes of play, Brazil’s star forward, Neymar got over 150,000 new Twitter followers. With numbers like that (just in the first day), it is no wonder that Twitter has amped up its interface and is offering fans some exciting new features for the World Cup festivities.

Here are a few special things that Twitter has done to make following the World Cup more exciting:

Profile Customization

With the growth of Twitter tapering off, it had to capitalize on this opportunity that only comes around every four years. What better way to attract new users than to tap into the World Cup market and create special profile customizations for users who are only interested in the World Cup? Twitter has made it easier than ever to join and use the social media network and after users sign up, they can customize their profile based on the team that they are supporting. This customization includes a “chose your side” feature where you can proudly display your country’s flag; it connects you with friends and even generates a “support your side” tweet that is entered in the World Cup of Tweets (more info about this feature below).

For those of you who are already Twitter users and want to get into the World Cup profile action, click here to customize your profile.

World Cup Timeline

Twitter is offering a timeline feature were you can simply click on the hashtag #WorldCup2014 or the World Cup sidebar to stay updated on all things World Cup. This World Cup timeline is the epicenter of World Cup chatter and not only showcases all of the games in a “scoreboard” tool bar, but also connects users to the international soccer teams, the players and the fans supporting them. Fans can stay tuned into the conversation by seeing all of the tweets, photos and videos that are posted by people around the world.


Just for the World Cup, Twitter has re-released/unveiled the hashflag feature that was so popular during the 2010 World Cup. Show your support for your favorite team by hashtagging the country’s three-letter code (i.e. #USA #FRA #ITA) and a little flag will appear in your tweet. Not only does this fun little feature add some color to your tweets, Twitter will be tallying up the hashflags from around the world to host its own World Cup of Tweets. So get tweeting and show your support!

See an example of hashflags below: 

With all of the great features that Twitter is offering during the World Cup, it will be interesting to see if it will be able to generate more users. Above all else, it is great to see that people from all over the world are coming together via social media and creating a community around this incredible sporting event.

As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read be social and share. 

SONY and the World Cup

Author: Gina Mason

The World Cup is set to kick off in Brazil in just a few weeks and fans everywhere are gearing up for a month of soccer mania. From June 12-July 13, 2014, the world will be watching as 32 teams battle it out to see which country will be crowned champions of the world. Outside of the competition, the World Cup is the world’s most followed and watched sporting event, making it an ideal platform for brands to expand their reach to an international audience.

During the 2010 World Cup, more than 3.2 billion people or 46.4 percent of the population watched live coverage for a minimum of one minute, according to FIFA.com. That is an astounding statistic! Not to mention, that statistic is expected to significantly increase due to the growth of the internet, viewing capability on mobile devices and social media. Social media in particular is expected to dominate the World Cup conversation and coverage. Twitter is anticipating “60% of all tweets during matches will be World Cup-related during the month-long soccer tournament,” according to a recent Ad Age article.

With that kind of engagement and attention, we can expect brands that are sponsoring the World Cup, like McDonalds, Visa and Johnson & Johnson to step up their marketing and advertising campaigns to expand their reach. One brand in particular came up with a unique tactic to not only show off its newest technology during the World Cup, but also drive fans to its website and keep them engaged during the competition. That brand is SONY and it created a new social networking platform that can be accessed by its website (http://football.sony.net/onestadiumlive ) called One Stadium Live.

According to a SONY press release, “One Stadium Live brings together football-related social media content from Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ into a single platform, with topics and posts from around the world.” That information will be organized “according to people’s interests and relevance” as well as “sorted to show the most popular, latest, relevant news and posts on football.”

Optimized for smartphones, tablets and computers, One Stadium Live makes it easy for sports fans to interact with each other and keep track of World Cup news. So how does this platform work when people from all over the world speak different languages?

One Stadium Live’s technology is incredibly advanced and it “studies and learns language patterns as opposed to monitoring key words, [and] is the result of 14 years of research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that applies artificial intelligence and a database of 17 million facts to appropriate common sense knowledge to text mining.” Content can be further filtered by preferred languages and the social network site, “[it] accommodates six languages including English, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.” If that doesn’t make your head spin, One Stadium Live will also “deliver a second screen experience with a real-time, filtered stream of what all fans around the world are saying about that particular game.”

I think this marketing strategy for SONY is sheer genius and I am predicting that it will be incredibly successful during the World Cup (barring any technical difficulties). For SONY to align its brand with the biggest sporting event in the world and engage an international audience in a new and exciting way is revolutionary. The best part of this technology is that it will for the first time truly bring the world together in the name of sports. No language barrier will limit brand messaging or people the discussion of all things related to this exciting world event.

What are your predictions for the 2014 World Cup? Will you use One Stadium Live to stay up on the latest soccer updates?

As always, if you like what you read be social and share.