World Cup 2014: Our man in the Amazon on the brands winning in Brazil

By Dominic Gramatte


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June 25, 2014 | 5 min read

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The vibe in Brazil is absolutely amazing and the group stage matches are proving to be a quite the event. Already I’ve touched down in Rio, been out to Manaus and started my trip into the Amazon.

Everywhere I seemed to go in Rio people from all over the world were pumped about the games, talking of their journeys and rallying together to support the love of the game. Now in the middle of the rainforest fellow adventurers hover around the one TV at the lodge that has been rigged to show the matches.

Connectivity to the outside world is very limited and there doesn’t seem to be a phone signal or Wi-Fi connection in sight. In fact, this post was delivered via photos on a USB stick from fellow travellers heading back from the Amazon to Manaus and then transcribed back in London. Seems more than a little odd for a digital marketer…

But here in Brazil, it seems that every flat space available is covered with something related to the World Cup. Brands are leaving no space uncovered in the fight to gain exposure and capitalise on this year’s World Cup. Even on my flight to Manaus, the head cushions were sponsored by FIFA and everything in the duty free Sky Magazine was somehow football related (think Jo Hart’s Head & Shoulders commercial but for gadgets, cologne and sweets). The big brands are doing exactly what we would expect.

For me, one of the standouts so far has been Coca-Cola which is sticking out absolutely everywhere. Each host city I have travelled to have their walls covered from floor to ceiling with images of face-painted fans enjoying Coke and getting involved in the game. I particularly like what happens upon arrival in airports. They have dominated the arrivals hall with the ‘Welcome to…’ signs indicating the current host city. I (along with every other person who arrived for the games) have taken a snap of each of these upon entering the city and promptly uploaded it to Facebook and Twitter (when I could get signal). Talk about viral…

During the games every other advert on TV here in Brazil is from Coke and it contains a hashtag in Portuguese inviting those on their second screens to participate in the online conversation. Coke’s current #WhatsYourGoal campaign seems to be getting quite a lot of buzz as well – again shifting the focus to social by using Instagram’s new video feature for fans to upload footage of themselves kicking their own goals and inviting the public to vote for a final winner. Although the UK competition only ran up until the World Cup started, the Brazilian competition is still alive and kicking (excuse the pun).

Adidas is yet another company hoping to cash in on social media and the second screen. Prior to my trip to Manaus, Adidas launched #AllIn (or Nothing) campaign and since I arrived, it’s continually popped up everywhere – no matter where I was. Although while I was in the UK, Nike was winning the advertising land grab despite not being an official sponsor, there can be no doubt who’s winning it in Brazil.

Adidas’ exposure leading up to the initial game and through the group rounds or far has been more noticeable than other brands. It also seems to be the only brand inside the stadiums utilising the hashtag regularly on the advertising banners alongside the pitch. The social media aspect with the #AllIn (or Nothing) campaign allows individuals to go ‘all in’ for the World Cup by signing up for match updates via email and twitter.

I also really like what Shakira has done with Activia. While Shakira had the official World Cup song in 2010 (forgotten ‘Waka Waka’ already?) and Pit Bull Jennifer Lopez (or is she going by J.Lo these days? – I can’t keep up) sang the official World Cup 2014 song, Shakira was always going to have a soft spot in any South American World Cup heart.

Shakira teamed up with Activia for an advert in the lead up to the World Cup using the song ‘La La La’. The video had over 97 million views in just under two weeks of release and continues to climb higher with just over 152 million just before this went to print. By comparison, the official World Cup Song ‘We Are One’ has approximately 25 million views just before this went to print. There’s a strong argument that the pre-release of Shakira’s song through the Activia advert and its promotion of the World Food Programme’s Fight Against Hunger has helped make it the song that’s always on the radio this World Cup season. And it does succeed in making me think of Activia.

But what is so exciting for us as digital marketers is that we get to work in real-time. We can change and adapt to the conversion. With the tournament half over and some teams starting to feel it coming to an end, it will be interesting to see how brands evaluate their initial efforts. Will there be any significant changes made to take advantage of the global brand engagement opportunity? Will advertising stop in countries who’s teams won’t be going through? Will there be that real-time, Superbowl moment?

I have a few more days left in the Amazon and then it’s off to Fortaleza, Igussu Falls and Wi-Fi.

Dominic Gramatte is UK business director at IgnitionOne


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