While America's soccer fandom may pale in comparison to other countries, every four years this slips away as the country tunes into the weeks-long spectacle that is the World Cup. With multiple games running on multiple channels each day of the tournament, there are plenty of advertising dollars waiting to be spent on the most widely viewed sporting event on earth. Below are five food and beverages companies cashing in on the world's football fever.
Ad Week reports that this year's World Cup marketing effort was the largest in Coca-Cola's history—no surprise when you look at the dizzying amount of campaigns the beverage company is promoting in accordance with the event. Along with producing a series of mini-documentary’s, Coca Cola also sponsored a FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour, and produced an ad celebrating the sport’s uniting quality in societies with political tension and hardship.
Located in San Paulo, Brazil the Global Copa Coca-Cola Camp sponsored by the company hosted 116 teens from 28 countries for a soccer program and tournament. The itinerary included multiple days of training, barbecues, and a visit to the opening match of the tournament.
Along with this camp, Coca-Cola has also created a "brand experience" outside of the World Cup's Maracana stadium. Ad Age reports that the building includes rooftop views of the city, a virtual experience machine, and a gift shop.
Unlike Coke, Pepsi bypassed an opportunity to officially partner with FIFA, which allows for the use of World Cup logos or imagery in marketing materials. No matter, as the company seemed to use the $100 million it reportedly saved from that decision to impart an “ambush” marketing campaign centered around the games.
Part of this effort includes an interactive ad featuring Leo Messi and other notable soccer players, where the viewer can change the course of the plot by clicking on various images that appear on screen.
Select boxes of Kellogg's cereals contain World Cup-themed "Rio Balls," in a special promotion running through the summer. Six different balls, each promoting a different World Cup team, can be found in select boxes, with the opportunity to obtain a seventh gold ball after purchasing three promotional packs.
Budweiser doled out a hefty sum to call itself the “official beer of the World Cup.” So it’s a given that this beer company is rolling out big promotions to live up to the title. Along with the sales of both Budweiser and Brahma (also owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev) in the tournament’s stadiums, the company has released limited addition gold Budweiser bottles.
In a similar vein to Coca-Cola, Budweiser has also built an interactive experience in Brazil—but this time it’s VIPs only. The company has taken over a beachfront hotel in Copacabana, installing three watching lounges and flat screen TVs in the lobby and pool area. The hotel's invite-only guests can also enjoy unlimited beer while catching the games.
Many food brands took advantage of the now-infamous bite of now-banned Luis Suarez of Uruguay. During the team’s match against Italy, the football player took a little nibble of an Italian opponent, the third biting incident for Suarez. Of all the marketing riffs that populated social media afterwards, we chuckled the most at Snickers' witty tweet below.
Hey @luis16suarez. Next time you're hungry just grab a Snickers. #worldcup #luissuarez #EatASNICKERS pic.twitter.com/3RAO537HjW— SNICKERS® (@SNICKERS) June 24, 2014
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