World Cup hysteria is over and, sadly, once again it didn’t come home, writes Mark Teale. For once though, our lads did ok, a more than respectable tournament – and unusual for anyone that has supported England in the last 30 years for the focus to be on the football. There’s normally all the chatter around scandal, nights out, WAGS, haircuts and who the next unfortunate manager will be.
But, for us PRs, we always pay close attention to what brands create and promote off the back of the biggest sporting spectacle on the planet. Now the dust has settled, here’s our roundup of which campaigns scored a thumping victory and which finished bottom in the group stage.
The National Centre for Domestic Violence
The NCFDV created a very impactful campaign; it released stats highlighting that incidents of domestic violence increase by a quarter when England plays, more than a third if England loses and 11% the next day, win or lose. These stats were illustrated through a powerful and thought-provoking image.
Coca Cola – Pass the Happiness
Coca Cola teamed up with pop-star Jason Derulo to launch its #passthehappiness campaign. By using him as spokesman, the soft drinks giant released a video that explained the objective to bring happiness through the power of football to underprivileged youths. They handed out a specially-created ball, created by One World Play Project, that never goes flat and designed to withstand the toughest playing conditions around the world.
British Airways – Football Safety Video and free Waistcoats
BA came out with a really fun three-pronged campaign to piggyback on the excitement. The first was a video of a football-themed safety demonstration on board Russia-bound flights. Following that, the airline started giving out free waistcoats to anybody heading to Moscow ahead of England’s semi-final in homage to England manager and unlikely fashion icon Gareth Southgate.
To finish things off, BA also printed a ticket for a passenger named ‘Football’ with the following details:
‘Football’ is booked from Moscow to Home and other details include ‘Gate: South’ in reference to team manager Southgate. Under ‘Gate Closes’ is 1966, and the seat, 52H, notes the number of years it has been since that victory.
Patriotic Emojis from Three
Telecoms supplier Three activated a fun and simple campaign by adding ‘Three Lions’ emojis to selected shop fronts. When England finally got knocked out, the Lion emojis had a tear added – simple, friendly and effective.
Mastercard: Goals that change lives
Mastercard started a social media campaign whereby every time Messi or Neymar scored during the tournament, it would donate 10,000 meals to help fight childhood hunger. A nice initiative on face value… but critics asked why only Messi and Neymar? Bit of an own goal bearing in mind that one month before, Mastercard reported a £3.8bn increase in revenue. The credit card giant, which sponsors both players and the Brazilian Football Confederation, now says that instead a million meals will be donated in 2018, regardless of the goals scored.
Burger King Russia’s impregnation contest
Burger King offered Russian women $47,000 and free Whoppers for life if they got impregnated by a World Cup player. It was short lived, taken down and Burger King apologised. Enough said!!
William Hill #itscominghome
Bookmakers William Hill sponsored the hashtag #itscominghome from the start of the tournament. Good foresight from them but what wasn’t thought through was the hashtag itself exploding on Twitter. As a result, there was growing concern that the gambling company would be shoved in the face of children. Twitter saw it that way and promptly detached the companies branding from the hashtag.