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Netherlands - Global Football Marketing

Netherlands - Global Football Marketing

Posted 13 June 2014 in World Cup 2014 by James Clewer

The Netherlands start the World Cup 2014 tournament where they finished the last – against Spain.

To say this match is important to the Dutch is an understatement, but could it be the beginning of the end? The repeat of the 2010 final will reveal a lot about their chances this time round and defeat may prove a knock-out blow. The Dutch have some excellent footballers and with Louis Van Gaal at the helm, they will be conditioned to exude confidence.

The 1970s. Johan Cruyff. Total Football. All synonymous with the greatest Dutch teams of all time. How does the current squad match up? Well commentators in the Netherlands suggest this is probably one tournament too soon, however all the signs point to some excellent potential and the Dutch could surprise us yet.

At the time of writing the Netherlands is the 17th largest economy of the world and GDP per capita is roughly $42,000 which puts it in the top 10 of richest nations in the world. This equates to the Dutch having one of the highest levels of disposable income in the world, in turn being an attractive market for brands doing business in Europe. So how do these brands stand out in a sometimes noisy marketplace with multiple brands competing? The beer companies have taken to impact marketing that is designed to be so overt that its literally draws the attention of the consumer. Big, bold, and colourful, the Netherlands is undoubtedly one of the best places in the world for impact marketing.

A great example we’ve seen of this in action for the 2014 World Cup is this example for Heineken in a Dutch grocery store. It is an innovative use of the product to create its own visual, of a football stadium. We love this example due to its impressive simplicity. Plus we know that 62% of shoppers are reminded of things they need just by seeing them in-store, so brand visibility is key to help inspire purchases, as with this large, appealing entrance display.(POPAI 2013)

Going off script for a minute, the Dutch deserve special mention for one of the most high profile examples of “Ambush Marketing” at the 2010 World Cup.

Ambush marketing can take several different forms, in this case the Dutch brewers sought to gain prominent brand exposure by sending 36 young women wearing orange mini-dresses to South Africa's Soccer City Stadium for the Netherlands versus Denmark match. The cameras, predictably, turned towards them en masse, at first unaware that the dresses were Bavaria branded (albeit with a very tiny logo) and the girls were part of a marketing campaign.

This created great publicity for the brand worldwide, and a bit of a furore especially as Budweiser the World Cup's authorised beer had paid millions for the privilege of exclusive representation during the competition. 

The ladies were ejected from the game and FIFA launched criminal proceedings against Bavaria –but was it worth it? In the UK Bavaria.com had no measurable traffic prior to the World Cup 2010, but  after the game was the fifth most visited beer website in the UK* (after Carling, Cobra, official World Cup beer sponsor Budweiser and Carlsberg). Whether or not this translated into higher sales, the increase in brand awareness on that scale is invaluable… although we’re certainly not advising risking the wrath of big corporations by such stunts! (*Experian Hitwise, 2010)

James Murray G+