‘Philip’ might not be here in South Africa, filling us with ‘gees’, but Brazil, home of the 2014 Fifa World Cup, is dancing “all in one rhythm” as what is described as the biggest event in sport kicks off today.
Brazil has some issues to deal with, such as protests against the massive, billions-of-dollars spend by its government preparing for the Fifa festival and even a strike by airport staff at two of its biggest airports just as football fans from around the world start arriving.
But for those of us watching from the comfort of our lounges or in sports bars, pubs, taverns and fan parks, it’s all about the action… and in between that, the ads…
The Media Online asked people in the media to give us insight into what to expect from advertising, and to share with us their favourite ads, the ones that will get us talking in between cheering on one of our ‘adopted’ teams, encouraged by Coca-Cola’s ‘adopt a nation’ campaign. It’s our only choice seeing as Bafana Bafana won’t be there. [I’ve adopted Ghana in the hope that Africa, if not South Africa, will shine.]
What to expect
Has not having a team in play has impacted on South Africa’s ‘gees’ this time around? “I don’t believe that South Africa as a whole has really embraced the event in Brazil. Most campaigns appear to be built what I call tick box compliance,” says new business director at Omnicom Media Group (OMG), Gordon Patterson. “These typically consist of association branding added to all commercial campaigns. They comply…but lack commitment, relevance and the sort of extension that would build real brand association.
“Perhaps the recent elections have drawn the energy out of our population or maybe it’s just the broadcast time but we as a country I feel we’re half asleep,” Patterson says.
Nevertheless, he says, as a global agency (OMG /OMD) “we are certainly embracing the energy and enthusiasm of the World Cup”.
“The companies that are making an effort are the multinational brands (again) such as Coca Cola and McDonalds and the like. They always do a great job and this World Cup is no exception. And while I accept that local brands cannot get involved I still would have expected some flirting with the event properties …in the same way we experienced this four years ago,” he says.
So what do Patterson, and his colleague, Lwazi Mhlongo (keen soccer fan!), expect of this World Cup in terms of advertising?
These are there expectations:
We expect a well-supported opening broadcast (for its time slot) with broad LSM support and in particular from the staunch soccer supporters.
Given that SA is not participating I hope that we will now embrace being part of the African continent…and support our African brothers participating. If the Cup comes to Africa then we’re all winners.
As the event progresses I expect to see higher LSM audiences following European games while African team games will have more representative support.
If the African teams get knocked out then I would expect middle to lower LSM support to fade. Higher LSM support will grow towards the final.
Expect pockets of local support for the event from Mamoelodi Sundown supporters as they are known as the ‘Brazilians’. Their recent victory in the PSL will certainly give these supports much to celebrate.
Measured TV audiences will under read the real game viewership’s as sports bar/pub and viewed at friends become popular viewing hubs. This will be particularly key for the major (high profile) team games.
The official song will become more recognisable as the event unfolds.
In terms of platform benefit (growth in listenership, viewership, circulation or online/social traffic), I don’t believe that any of the platforms will benefit in a meaningful way.
On to the ads
Coca-Cola has delivered what it calls its biggest campaign EVER. “The FIFA WORLD CUP 2014 Brazil is not just an event, it’s an opportunity to have meaningful engagement with consumers – football fans and their friends and families. Inclusivity and togetherness is the theme at the heart of the campaign. Brazil is a country which has its arms open to all-comers, football is the world’s largest, most accessible sport and Coca-Cola is everyone’s drink. We’ve brought these elements together to create something truly global and universally inclusive,” says Sharon Keith, Marketing Director at Coca-Cola South Africa.
Here, in South Africa, we’ve been encouraged to ‘adopt a nation’, Coca-Cola has produced a football anthem, The World is Ours, by David Correy; created a ‘happiness flag’ comprising hundreds of thousands of fan images submitted from across the globe to create the largest flag mosaic ever created. The images will be arranged into a design created in collaboration with Brazilian artist Speto.
Garth Rhoda, sales director at Habari Media, says he believes social media will be a winner this year, citing Tom Ramsden, global brand director of adidas, who said in an interview with The Guardian that the company was spending more on digital advertising than television. He says in 2010, only 20% of adidas ad spend went on digital. This time, Ramsden said, “It’s not about the need to do ‘the big TV ad” and that 2014 would be “the most social World Cup ever and probably the most social event in history”.
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Doug Mayne, group managing director of the Primedia Lifestyle Group, a Primedia Unlimited company, has nominated Nike’s ad as his favourite
“I love the new Nike ad where ordinary people transform into world class footballers – it’s awesome,” he says.
Mayne also highlighted a MallWorx campaign for DStv.“DStv in conjunction with SuperSport wanted to strategically position their branding in areas around malls to create awareness and brand association for consumers to promote the DStv Walka Handheld TV as well as the standard decoder aimed at the middle market around the World Cup period airing on SuperSport,” he says.
- And in Cape Town, people are talking about a building wrap at the McDonald’s Golden Acre branch on Adderley street.“McDonalds took ownership of this massive outdoor site at Golden Acre Shopping Centre in CPT and will be utilising it for different types of campaigns over the next year. They began with a World Cup message as they are one of the major sponsors and official restaurant of the World Cup,” says Mayne.
Red and Yellow School Marketing & Advertising Communications Management (MAC) students, David Brookstein (@davieavie), voted for McDonalds’ GOL! Ad.
“This new advert by Mc Donald’s for the World Cup is a somewhat different take on the usual plethora of the world’s best football stars running around on a field, showing off their awesome soccer skills,” he says. “Rather this ad showcases some of the most epic trick shots ever captured on film by seemingly ordinary people. Yes, the legitimacy of the tricks and whether or not there was any CGI trickery is still up for debate, but regardless it is still great to watch.
“My favourite characters of this advert have to be the little kid, the grandpa in the mobility scooter and the woman in the high heels.
“The reason this ad is great is because it makes me want to go outside and kick a ball around, which is what the spirit of the games is all about,” he says.
Another student, Klyne Maharaj (@TribeCalledMuhj) reviewed Beats: ‘The Game Before the Game’and checked out some other campaigns he thinks have a winning edge.
“To take advantage of the widespread hysteria sweeping the world as the final days of build up near their end before the World Cup kicks off tonight, Beats have released a goose bump-inspiring new advert which takes us into the locker room to give us an inside look at ‘the game before the game’: the behind the scenes rituals, conversations and mind-sets of the worlds biggest and best footballers before they take to the field for battle.
“What initially seems like an act of one-upmanship in response to Nike’s viral sensation ‘Winner Stays’ – featuring practically every major star endorsed by the sports giant – actually has a far greater impact than that. Beats’ equally star-studded, highly personal focus on these athletes – coupled with a hair-rasingly evocative soundtrack – draws on the exact emotions we’ve all now come to expect from football fans: fanaticism of religious proportions masquerading as mere love for sports.
“With Apple’s recent acquisition of the Beat’s brand perhaps we can expect more rousing adverts from the headphone titans, maybe even something akin to their historic George Orwell inspired Superbowl commercial. With the campaigns already widespread success though – nearly eight million views in five days – the bar has been set extremely high.”
Continental Outdoor Media’s marketing manager, Lyn Jones, sent a series of McDonald’s billboards she believes are stopping the traffic.
And my favourite, so far? Got to be Samsung’s 11.
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