Best and Worst: Advertising lessons learned from 20th FIFA World Cup

When it comes to advertising, brands tend to go with what is popular, trending, and new.

Last June 12, 2014, this year’s 20th FIFA World Cup kicked-off with Brazil as host for the famous event. A total of 31 teams and 64 matches are set to be played until July 13. From its day 1, the World Cup never failed to trend in social media sites worldwide.

With the wide attention given to the World Cup, surely advertisers are pouncing on this opportunity to boost their popularity. Given the accessibility of various platforms in which they can advertise – be it online, radio, television, and print – surely, consumers have seen and noted a lot from these ads. Here are some lessons learned from advertisement featuring the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

1. Rules are rules. Beats by Dr. Dre, Samsung Galaxy, and Volkwagen USA have released World Cup advertisements but news flash: they are not official world cup sponsors. They may have used actual matches, fans, reporters, players, etc., but nothing with the words “FIFA” and “World Cup.” What went wrong with these ads is that they crossing the intellectual property rights of the famous event. Of course, these all boils down to shares. Do extensive research before you release an ad, because instead of garnering sales you might end up paying for violations.

2. “They” are important. World Cup ads have three elements to juggle: the product, the event, and the consumers. From the three, where should you give the most weight on? The consumers. Take a look at McDonald’s Gol! advertisement. It features the product, relevant to football, but the last thing struck the most – random people playing the game. Advertisements need not feature World Cup fans going wild and football superstars straining to make a goal, McDonald’s playful use of ordinary people made the advertisement stand out.

3. Spark emotion. Emotion is what will drive your audience to remember your advertisement. Columbia’s James Rodriguez story of success through talent and dedication has earned a lot of admiration from people around the world. Use football superstars, football fans, and other key players to highlight the feel of the World Cup. Let consumers know your product through its message.

4. Like, comment, share. Social media is one of the best platforms in increasing the exposure of your product. Go for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Channel the content of your advertisement for each social media site. Also, be aware of the updates and other tricks in social media.  

Reference sites:

 Note: I wrote this article for a client at

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