The 2014 Global Marketing Cup

Author: James Murray
Crowd cheering at a soccer game at night

The 2014 Global Marketing Cup

Global brands battle for visibility and market impact

Whether you like football or not, it's hard to ignore the popularity and global reach of the international football tournament.

It is the biggest sporting event in the world, attracting more than 3.2 billion television viewers (a staggering 46 percent of the global population) during the last international cup of South Africa in 2010. It evokes a huge amount of media attention and passion, so it’s no surprise to see the world’s biggest brands, along with a whole host of smaller ones, wanting to cash in on the action of the 2014 global football tournament.

There’s a lot to play for before a ball has even been kicked, with brands battling to win their own competition for visibility and impact. There has been press about the high profile TV ads and social media campaigns released by brand sponsors, and those wanting to associate themselves with the tournament. Particular attention has been given to the rivalry between the world’s biggest sporting brands, Nike and Adidas (Adidas, as an official sponsor and supplier of the match ball, has a clear advantage). Nike, however, has managed to wrestle some attention away from its rival with its clever “Winner Stays” TV ad, featuring several of the most high profile footballers in the world (Ronaldo, Rooney, Neymar). It seems to have struck a chord with the public, attracting over 65.5 million views in three weeks and over 12,500 results in YouTube (across different languages) showing the effect a well-planned marketing campaign can have.

But it’s not just sports brands that stand to benefit in sales from the tournament, there are predicted to be large sales increases for food and drink brands (up to 41 percent predicted for drinks brands) as people embrace the fun, social atmosphere of the International Cup. Looking at the brands featured in the top ten most shared videos for the global football tournament so far, which aside from the sports brands include Samsung, Castrol, Coca-Cola and Emirates, show that there is potential for brands across a wide range of categories to appeal to the public, and perhaps widen their shopper base.

Winning campaigns

But what exactly does a brand need to do to ensure they are a Global Cup winner?

At HH Global, we have decided to delve further into global football marketing, across all the participating countries to help answer this question. We will look at the details of different marketing campaigns from each of the 32 competing countries across all channels, including social media, in-store displays, and experiential marketing. Our blog will focus on our passion -- their supporting marketing campaigns.

Our predictions for the brands who will triumph are the ones who consider their game plan carefully:

Brands with the strongest customer appeal will have a credible and compelling reason to associate themselves with the international cup, and not just appear to be jumping on the bandwagon.

The Social Media Cup

This year's event has been touted as the first “Social Media World Cup”. Social media is expected to be heavily used for people to get score updates and discuss matches. For brands it is an ideal platform for real time dialogue, reacting to events and having two way communications with customers.

Campaigns online and on television are wide-reaching, but stores can provide the strongest opportunity to actually convert sales. In-store displays need to be bold, appealing, and visible in order to maximize these opportunities and stand out above competitor brands.

Innovative differentiators to stand above the competition

Technological advancements in the last few years have presented brands with opportunities to innovate in how they communicate their World Cup messages. During such a high profile event, we often see brands experimenting with their marketing communication in order to differentiate from other brands, and customers expect to see much bigger, bolder campaigns.

A simple message, but brand owners need to remember what they are trying to achieve and bear this in mind when planning their marketing activity. For many this is probably to drive sales, so campaigns such as competitions need to link back to allow these goals to be achieved.

It should be an exciting time, for football fans and marketing enthusiasts alike- so we hope you’ll enjoy joining us throughout the 2014 World Cup tournament.