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Jun 20, 2018

Football crazy, but not mad!

by Mary Anne FitzGerald - Client Services Director

Football crazy, but not mad!

England’s opening match in the World Cup was the most-watched TV programme in the UK of 2018, beating even the Royal Wedding. The game attracted a peak audience of 18.3m people to BBC One (69.2% share) with 3 million requests to stream the match online via BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport, the highest ever live viewing for any BBC programme online.

No surprise then that brands are once again flocking to capitalise on the world’s biggest marketing opportunity, both officially and unofficially.  Some brands like Jägermeister, Warburtons and Mug Shots are generating exposure and traction by creating football-themed packaging.

Others are taking a more integrated approach. In its 32ndyear of official sponsorship status, Budweiser has gone to town with its biggest raft of World Cup activity ever and it covers multiple touch points. ‘Light up the world cup’ kicks off with a TV ad featuring a fleet of drones delivering bottles of the beer from its factory in Missouri to spectators around the world including the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Limited edition cans and aluminium bottles (fun fact: according to Budweiser these are "perfect for football fans stocking up last minute", as they chill quicker and retain the cold for longer than regular bottles) offer the chance to win tickets to the final along with merchandise including bags, hoodies, T-shirts and footballs. Some winners could be watching the Games on the Bud Boat which is cruising the Thames hosting screening parties, DJs and bars for fans in London. You can also enhance your fan experience using the Bud Bot to vote for Man of the Match or order home deliveries of Budweiser within two hours via Amazon Prime.

There’s even the voice-activated Red Light Cup that lights up when fans’ excitement reaches fever pitch. 8m are being distributed worldwide and some of them are on sale in Asda. In another retailer exclusive, Budweiser is taking aWorld Cup competition wheel and sampling to 50 Sainsbury’s stores. As senior brand manager Sascha Cordes said: “Via our range of activations and pack formats, we’re providing support to customers so that they can harness the energy and excitement of football fans to drive footfall into stores and increase rate of purchase.”

It may not be a sponsor but Carling is dialling up its association with the beautiful game by hiding 100 golden cans inside multipacks. Each one found scores £1,000 and these have been seeded through retailer accounts to ensure that there are prizes available in Tesco, Morrisons, ASDA, Best One, Budgens, Costcutter, Go Local, Londis, Nisa, Premier and SPAR. 

Carling brand director Miranda Osborne had this to say.“There’s a huge summer of football to look forward to and we are building on that excitement by supporting key off-trade partners with this promotion”. Yes, key accounts are key.

A savoury snack and a kick about with your drink of choice? As part of its ‘Pop, Play, Eat’ campaign Pringles brings us the latest iteration of its Pringoooals on-pack theme, this time offering a pop-up goal in return for the purchase of three different Pringles cans.

On a sweet note, Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK has launched The Sweetstake, across 11 brands and 100m promotional packs. Entry is via URN and one of 700+ ‘scenarios’ is displayed on screen of something that might happen during one of the matches up to 15 July 2018 along with the associated prize you’ll win if it does.

There’s a 1 in 7.7 chance of winning a prize, from the chance to win a cash prize of up to £10,000 or vouchers for free chocolates and sweets. There’s also a retailer exclusive overlay for Tesco shoppers to be entered into a free prize draw to win an additional £10,000.

Coca-Cola, an official sponsor since 1978 and the one with the highest recognition at 45%, has teamed up with EA in an on-pack promotion offering consumers the chance to access in-game content within the FIFA 18 game for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles.

They are also in with a chance of winning a rare player and Coca-Cola jersey. The promotion is supported by a £2.5m campaign that including POS, digital, social and outdoor advertising. Simon Harrison, customer marketing director at Coca-Cola European Partners was quite clear about the timing of the activity which started at the beginning of May and ran until 17thJune.  “Our latest promotion is designed to capture the excitement of the nation ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.”

He has a point. According to research, excitement among British fans grows gradually with 13% interested one to two months prior rising to 18% with two to three weeks to go. The crescendo actually peaks at 37% as the Games start. So brands are wise to make the most of fan engagement around the opening of the games. The fact that one in four of the population will switch off as soon as their country is eliminated makes it even more important to strike while the iron is hot!

That’s what the best shopper marketing is all about: using insight to identify how when and where to best engage. So who will be the real winners? The brands that convey messages in a creative way, using relevant content and smart, informed timings. And not just once every four years.

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Branding, Packaging, Retail, Shopper, On-Pack, Experiential, Partnerships

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