August 10, 2023

A Look Back at the Best Marketing Campaigns for the World Cup

A Look Back at the Best Marketing Campaigns for the World Cup

How do you run a marketing campaign throughout the most-watched sporting event in the world? You go big. 

With billions of fans tuning in to watch, the FIFA World Cup is a prime opportunity for brands to reach a global audience. Over the years, there have been countless brands that have absolutely crushed their campaigns, let’s walk through a few of them.

Top Men’s  World Cup Marketing Campaigns

Nike: “Write the Future” (2010)

Leveraging some of the biggest names of the time, Nike created a series of short films that reimagined the future of football. The films featured Wayne Bridge, Christiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., and more. 

Overall, the campaign was a huge success and touted as one of football’s most iconic ads.

Beats By Dre: The Game Before The Game (2014)

In 2014, Beats by Dre tapped the world’s biggest football stars to produce a five-minute commercial spot for the World Cup, with names like Neymar Jr., Daniel Sturridge, Javier Hernández, and more. The campaign showcased not only their pre-game rituals but the excitement of fans and celebrities as well.

The video was heartwarming and inspirational, serving as a reminder to let go of doubt, fears, and distractions before big moments. The results? 26 million views on YouTube, 1.5 billion global impressions, and 130% growth in headphone sales.

Adidas: “Footballitis” (2002)

Ahead of the 2002 World Cup, Adidas dropped their comedic commercial “Footballitis” to excite fans. The commercial leaned into comedy with football athletes including David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, and Alessandro Del Piero. After years of trying to beat their competition during the World Cup, this ad finally put them in the running.

Adidas shared that their £25m sponsorship investment resulted in the company reporting its biggest surge in orders in nearly four years.

Budweiser: “The World Is Yours To Take” (2022)

In 2022, Budweiser rallied football fans around the world with their FIFA World Cup campaign, “The World Is Yours To Take.” The campaign not only leveraged household football names like Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr., and Raheem Sterling, but it also included a song by Grammy-award winning artist, Lil Baby.

The campaign received $52 million in media value and 16 million global streams of the “The World is Yours to Take” video.

Top Women’s World Cup Marketing Campaigns

In recent years, there’s been a growing push to promote the Women’s World Cup, driven by the rising popularity of women’s football worldwide.

2023 pulled out all the stops with these incredible marketing campaigns:

Frito-Lay: “Taste of Greatness” (2023)

In the Frito Lay ad, a mother and daughter watching the Women’s World Cup spark a conversation about the impressive skills of women football players. They creatively use Frito-Lay snacks to represent iconic football players from different eras. 

The ad showcases the playful and imaginative connection between enjoying snacks and celebrating the world of football.

Adidas: “Play Until They Can’t Look Away” (2023)

Adidas’ World Cup campaign, “Play Until They Can’t Look Away,” featured a mix of prominent female and male football players passing a ball amongst themselves. Notable players like Alessia Russo, Lena Oberdorf, Mary Fowler, and Lionel Messi, among others, are included in the star-studded lineup. 

The energetic sequence culminates in playful chaos within a grocery store setting, capturing the captivating essence of the campaign’s title.

Google: “#FixedOnPixel: (2023) 

This ad by Google features Megan Rapinoe prepping for the game while using several Google products. The ad is set to an inspirational song, showcasing that a legendary athlete deserves a legendary phone. The commercial ends with Rapinoe using her Google Pixel to take a photo with her fans before the game. 

The commercial is a powerful message of inspiration for young women everywhere. It shows that anything is possible if you set your mind to it and never give up on your dreams. 

Using A Global Stage To Reach A Global Audience 

What made these campaigns particularly successful?

These campaigns truly grasped the importance and strength of football fans. Each brand tapped into the global love for the sport and the enthusiasm of fans.

By embracing the universal language of football, these brands effectively bridged geographical and cultural gaps, uniting diverse audiences under a shared passion. Through compelling storytelling and relatable narratives, the campaigns ignited a sense of belonging and camaraderie among fans. This fostered a sense of community that extended beyond the game itself and generated a powerful ripple effect, amplifying the impact of the campaigns and cementing their status as iconic cultural moments.

How to Create a Successful World Cup Marketing Campaign

If you are looking to create a successful World Cup marketing campaign to join the ranks of Nike, Adidas, Visa, Budweiser, and more, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Tap into the passion of football fans. The World Cup is the most-watched sporting event in the world, and football fans are some of the most passionate fans. Your campaign needs to harness that passion in order to be successful.
  • Be creative and innovative. The World Cup is a global event, and there is a lot of competition for attention. To break through the noise, your campaign needs to come with fresh ideas or a unique take.
  • Use social media to your advantage. Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to reach a global audience. Your campaign should make use of social media to connect with football fans around the world.

Keep these tips in mind and you just might create the next great campaign for the FIFA World Cup.

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