Love it or loathe it, there’s no escaping the FIFA World Cup as the best national teams come together to compete for the most coveted football trophy of them all… and brands compete to cut through the noise in their attempt to capture the hearts and minds of the millions watching.
With only a month to go before we start chanting ‘It’s Coming Home’ and singing ‘Sweet Caroline’ all over again, we’ve got football fever and wanted to share a few of our favourite World Cup brand campaigns as we countdown to the opening game.
Lidl – ‘Dream Big with Lidl’
As audiences look for authenticity from brands, the challenge to create something that promotes the brand while still engaging the viewers can be a difficult one to get right.
Lidl managed to achieve this with its ‘Dream Big with Lidl’ campaign which kept it simple by drawing on a group of opinionated and sassy kids to grill the likes of Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill and Raheem Sterling to create some playful content on the pitch.
The campaign directly highlighted Lidl’s involvement in grassroots football and how it provided millions of inspiring opportunities for boys and girls across the country to play the nation’s favourite sports game.
Sea Life Centre, Germany – ‘Paul the Octopus’
While the 2010 World Cup left most of us England fans feeling cheated after Lampard’s clear goal was disallowed against Germany (still not over it!), it also brings back fonder memories of Paul the Octopus. As odd as a psychic octopus predicting football results sounds, the resident at the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen was a big PR hit and garnered a lot of fans and international press coverage for the aquarium!
Showing off his intelligence and nine brains, Paul became an overnight sensation when he correctly guessed the outcome of 12 out of 14 games at the World Cup in Germany by eating from a choice of two food boxes representing the fixtures. He even correctly chose Spain as the winning team to achieve his 86% success rate.
Carlsberg – ‘Old Lions’
This is one of our favourites.
Carlsberg has created a string of successful ‘If Carlsberg Did…’ brand campaigns over the years but its ‘Old Lions’ creation in 2006 is one that used nostalgia and charm to reinforce that it’s ‘probably the best lager in the world’.
The advert saw Carlsberg bring together footballing legends like Sir Bobby Charlton and Peter Shilton play for the ‘Old Lion’ pub team. We see them go through their pre-game morning routines from Alan Ball smelling a sock for freshness, Jack Charlton doing the age-old joke of driving off as Chris Waddle is trying to get in the van to beating a real-life local pub team 8-nil.
The financial success of the campaign was unparalleled in Carlsberg’s history and outperformed its previous highest earning campaign by over 30 percent. It was reported that over 30,000,000 pints of Carlsberg lager were sold in the four weeks prior to the World Cup, and sales were four times higher than normal in the UK.
Looking ahead to the world stage
As we wait to see what the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar brings, we already know this will be an even more interesting one to watch — and not just for the football.
The host nation has already dominated headlines over human rights and environmental concerns. Multiple French cities are boycotting fan zones and Denmark’s national team will be wearing ‘toned down’ shirts in protest, as its kit provider Hummel “does not wish to be visible” in a tournament it claims, “has cost thousands of lives”.
The month-long tournament will be over winter this year, rather than the traditional summer months, covering key shopping periods such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the lead up to Christmas. We expect to see more brand engagement with the World Cup than ever before.
Keep your eyes peeled for our round up following the tournament in December, when we’ll hopefully be celebrating our first World Cup win since ’66!
In the meantime, if you need help activating your brand and engaging your target audience, get in touch here.