insights

  • Jaron Fay

10 Awesome World Cup Ads

Around 3.4 billion people are projected to watch the 2018 World Cup - the largest audience a single event in history has ever entertained. The first England game against Panama had viewing figures that smashed those of the recent royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. With the amount of attention the games draw, companies are eager to get any amount of exposure to showcase their products.



1. Lead Generation for Free Beer

The pure scale and sheer amount of spend on advertising around the World Cup are perfectly demonstrated by Budweiser. Not only did they invest in making an awesome noise-activated snapchat filter (see above) they have also promised a free beer to everyone over the age of 18 in England if they win the World Cup. The campaign is backed by Budweiser’s official World Cup ambassador and England’s former captain, Steven Gerrard.


In order to claim, users have to visit www.freebudforthenation.co.uk to declare their support and enter their email. If England fails to win the World Cup, then Budweiser have cleverly generated thousands of leads who are interested in their product. But if somehow England wins then their gamble means they’ll be handing out a LOT of free beers.


2. Coca-Cola AR & Budweiser facial recognition


The latest fads in tech have allowed advancements in how consumers can interact with the World Cup. Coca-Cola used state of the art augmented reality in Switzerland. They portrayed users next to Swiss football icon Xherdan Shaqiri, then allowed them to juggle a virtual ball with the star.


That’s not the only clever tech that has been integrated with football-themed marketing campaigns. During England’s opening match, Budweiser debuted their Snapchat filter which reacted in real time to the noise level of the crowd. A simple idea that combines facial & sound recognition with a cool interactive element that will be enjoyed and shared by thousands.


3. Ryanair twitter genius


Everyone was shocked when Germany got knocked out of the world cup after a disastrous match against South Korea. Quick as anything, Ryanair posted a tweet – “Making an unexpected exit? We have Löw fares on http://ryanair.com”.


Not only did they poke fun at Germany’s manager, Joachim Löw, but their savage twitter burn also managed to tie in perfectly to advertise their cheap flights. It was a Löw blow indeed, that produced a memorable bit of social media brand awareness.


4. Oddset of billboards

A Swedish betting company has truly demonstrated that where you place your ads matters. Their campaign ‘The Janne Walk’ saw the company buying billboards along the 12km commute of Jan Olof “Janne” Andersson – the head coach of Sweden’s national football team.


Having learned from the previous mistakes of ads like the Walkers Wave fail of 2017, fans got the chance to submit tips to the coach, which were then vetted before being displayed on the screens along Janne’s walking route. What resulted was not only a highly targeted campaign to help the team succeed but also a brilliant video to promote online.


5. Get McDelivered to during the match

Most World Cup adverts show only the positive side of the beautiful game - your favourite players, the best saves, or the feeling when your team lifts the trophy. However, McDonald’s brings us back to reality. Your team will not always be the best, your team will not always win, and the World Cup is not always a happy time for most. McDonald’s conveys the message that they are with you through thick and thin.


By thinking outside the box and going against the grain, they cleverly manage to appeal to a much wider audience. No matter what happens to your team during the World Cup, you can always sink your teeth into a McDonald’s burger anytime you want with McDelivery.


6. Economist Global Perspective


Though it may seem contrary, the World Cup unites the entire world through one common factor – the love of football. While many companies use the FIFA World Cup and world-renowned players to advertise a certain product or brand, the Economist is using it to bring attention to current events and geopolitical issues in the participating countries.


By developing dynamic creative ads, they are able to combine real-time scores with poignant messages that are dependent on the outcome of the games. For example, when Russia won their first match against Saudi Arabia, the news was broken alongside the statement: Look out for “Russia win ‘8-0’” posts on Facebook.


7. Never miss a goal with Uber Eats

Italy has qualified for the FIFA world cup every single year since 1958. Even though the country was heartbroken, Uber didn’t waste any time to poke fun at the rare occurrence to promote one of their new ventures – Uber Eats.


The advertisement showcases an interviewer confidently asking star midfielder Andrea Pirlo questions about the World Cup, only to awkwardly find out that Italy didn’t qualify. The open ended ad invites everyone to tweet a #TeamforPirlo to support in the world cup, smoothly transitioning from celebrity video ad to social media sensation.

8. The Sun “We’re World Cup for it”

This advertisement starts with a woman simply about to staple some pages together when some of her coworkers decide to get a little rowdy with a football. During the game in the tightly packed, paper littered, chaotic office there are peopling yelling, tackling each other and even the classic ‘put the ball under your shirt and pretend that you are pregnant’.


After poking fun at the time England lost the 1986 world cup with Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal, the celebrating woman flips over her desk and finishes the commercial by finally stapling those papers. With so many news outlets to choose from for world cup reportage, The Sun cleverly attempts to beat its competitors with this funny and relatable ad.

9. Coke bottle pep talk

At first look, the biggest sporting event of the year and a slightly unhealthy drink don’t have that much in common. However, intelligent advertising means staying relevant and bringing the two together.


During a 60 second ad, Coca-Cola personifies their coke bottles as someone gives them a pep talk as if they are players. This comical commercial shows a bottle ‘sweating’ as the factory manager warns the bottles that they might get broken or spilt.

10. Sky Bet goes global

Who will win the World Cup is on everyone’s lips – and is discussed in hundreds of different languages all over the globe. With such a diverse possible audience for marketing – how do you make sure your ads remain accessible to all?


Sky Bet have done a brilliant job, taking their marketing global with a multi-language TV spot promoting their World Cup “Money Back” offer. The campaign is running across TV, digital displays, content and print to ensure that the message goes multi-platform as well as multi-language! They’ve even published behind the scenes footage of the grueling process that Jeff Stelling had to go through to make sure his language skills would translate across a global stage.


Team knocked out of the World Cup?

You can still win at growing your business. Find customers here...