So today is the World Cup final and we will all be cheering for Spain right... okay Netherlands. Okay, either way this has been an advertising bonanza and I loved it.
In addition, today's World Cup final may become one of the most watched events on the planet with viewers from New York to Nepal tuning in to see football’s (soccer) elite in action from South Africa. The overall rournement has garnered the biggest television audience yet. For advertisers, this is great news.
"We don’t want to speculate in numbers but we’re hoping this will be the biggest [event] ever," Niclas Ericson, FIFA’s director of television, said in a press conference from Soccer City Stadium, the final’s venue.
"We think it will be bigger than the 2006 World Cup final which had an audience somewhere in the region of around 700 million," he added.
The record to beat is that set by the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games, when in 2008 a global audience of one billion watched at least some part of the extravaganza unfolding in the Chinese capital.
This World Cup has brought some excellent football (soocer) ads for the first time at this level and I see the 2012 World Cup in Brazil being even greater.
But was Nike declared the advertising winner of the World Cup prematurely?
Apparently so, even I declared in an earlier blogpost Nike scooped the press and hearts. Not so according to an updated Nielsen Co. study on the effectiveness of ambush marketers at the FIFA 2010.
Nielsen tracked national advertising in the U.S. during weekend games on both ABC and ESPN, as well as all Team USA matches between June 11 and 26, and found that FIFA sponsors connected better with World Cup fans than non-sponsors and that fans had higher recall of the sponsors' brands. This news comes after numerous industry experts declared Nike and other so-called "ambush" marketers victorious after they generated more buzz, according to an earlier Nielsen report, than their official sponsor rivals did in the lead-up to the event.
In the end the data revealed the five primary World Cup television sponsors -- Adidas, AT&T, Budweiser, Hyundai and Sony -- generated a 55% higher on average "net likeability" score among those polled compared to commercials from other, non-sponsor World Cup advertisers. In addition, the primary sponsors also scored 16% higher on brand recall on average for sponsors' World Cup in-game or in-studio promotions including the Adidas "First Half Highlights," compared with their in-game sponsorship performance for other sports events.
Last week I read another interesting piece on who was winning the advertising wars between "official" sponsors and other advertisers. Yes, Adidas, Budweiser, Hyundai paid some pretty big bucks to be primary sponsors but did they really win the hearts and attention of consumers? These partners that support the World Cup paid handsome fees for the privilege. The World Cup 2010 is expected to generate US$1.6 billion in sponsorship revenue during the period from 2007 to 2010 (according to IEG, a WPP group company). The sponsorship media coverage suggests Visa paid $170 million for its 2007-2014 rights, while Emirates Airline paid $195m. For these fees sponsors receive a mix of commercial and marketing rights including tickets, signage at the matches, the right to use the FIFA World Cup logo.
Is it worth all the fees and costs? This should give you a partial answer. Visa. may be the case study to build and to sell the future sponsors. Given that global consumer spending is down, the company said last week that international transactions using Visa during the first round of the Word Cup were US$176m, up 65 per cent on the same period last year. Not bad. First time advertiser, Chinese solar energy company Yingli used the World Cup to announce its global intentions and saw web searches on the company’s name multiply dramatically. Turning these inquiries and engagements into customers will likely increase if it uses all this for business development properly and may become a major success. Intersting, the company’s support of FIFA’s African Legacy Project, the building of 10 football centers this year, each with solar energy technology provided by Yingli Solar. Add to this the fact that the company is FIFA’s first major Chinese partner is worthy of mention.
If we measure purely by sales, then Adidas beats Nike, Coke beats Pepsi, Budweiser beats Heineken. Creatively speaking...hmmm. Adidas will will win hands down. Why? Adidas definitely delivered. Even though palyers were massive fans of the Jabulani ball but it will likely to sell more than 13 million units. With 12 World Cup teams wearing Adidas branded jerseys should generate sales of 7 million replica shirts, and if Spain wins today, that will be the icing and cherry on the sunde according to Herr Hainer, an Adidas chief executive. It's safe to assume Coca-Cola, Budweiser and McDonald’s will all show good sales, and there is a strong case for Sony 3DTV success and its future.
Personally by watching my Twitter feeds and classroom discussions it seems the most talked about spots came from advertisers that didn't buy into the FIFA costs of sponsorships and endorsements. FIFA made cart loads of money either way.
So we are now at the end of a month of great games and even better creative ads and I thought I would post my favorite Football spots of all time. Okay, "all time" is a bit shady, but the best spots I have seen. My choices are based on two basics, "entertainment" value and "insight" value. They appear in no specific order.
NIKE - NEXT LEVEL
How do you take a football ad to the Next Level? Created in 2008, and and you let director Guy Ritchie have is his way, this is 3 minutes of gold story telling.
NIKE - WRITE THE FUTURE FULL LENGTH
Okay, proof you don't need to be an official sponsor to take away the attention of consumers. Adidas may be the worldwide sponsor but 20+ million YouTube hits tell the truth. Some of the shorter edits work very well on their own. In addition, I posted that this spot was actually a curse for all the players that appeared. All the players featured in the spot had their teams eliminated by the end of Quarter Finals add to that one player, Ronaldinho was not selected to Brazil's final team. I have included below the "replacement" player spot featuring Robinho. Two days after the spot aired Brazil was eliminated by the Netherlands.
NIKE - WRITE THE FUTURE EDIT PLAYER SPOT - RONALDO
NIKE - WRITE THE FUTURE ROBINHO SPOT
VISA - RUNNING MAN
Created by Saatchi & Saatchi, this was one of the first World CUp 2010 spots to appear in the spring.
ADIDAS -STAR WARS CATINA
As creative as this Adidas spot is, it does not directly refer to their sponsorship.Star studded cast didn't impress, but the 3.9 million views does.
UMBRO - ENGLAND ANTHEM
Umbro, makers of the England World Cup uniforms plays to the hearts of all of English football.
BRAZIL - 1998 AIRPORT AD
The 1998 Brazilian World Cup football team are waiting for their plane and get bored. This was one of the greatest teams for Brazil, when Ronaldo was young and Romário was still playing. The magic of music makes this spot. The song used is 'Mas Que Nada' by Tamba Trio
PUMA - HARD CHORUS ENGLAND AND ITALY
From Droga5 for PUMA. The spot was created for football fans to send a message of love to their girlfriends on Valentines Day. Brilliant!
SAMSUNG HD TV
Maybe the sexiest if not the most sexist spot ever. Okay, I love it. I'm a guy, what's not to love. No apologies.
CARLSBERG - MEN OF ENGLAND TAKE ON THE WORLD
This :90second spot for Carlsberg features English sporting legends Stuart Pearce, Trevor Brooking, Jack Charlton, Kelly Holmes, Steve Redgrave, Ellen MacArthur, Nigel Benn, Phil The Power Taylor, Carl Fogarty, Clive Woodward, Ranulph Fiennes, Jeff Stelling, Kasabian, Soccer AM Tubes, Soccer AM Rocket and Ian Botham.