The FIFA World Cup is the biggest sporting event to hit the media all year.
Many companies are looking for opportunities to align their marketing and branding strategies with the global soccer phenomenon. Chinese companies, in particular, are buying more ad time and real estate than ever before to keep up with the trend.
As the planet’s most popular sporting event heads to its thrilling conclusion—the championship match this weekend—let’s see which ad campaigns are tallying victories. Here are four favorites:
1. Budweiser’s light-up cups and a Snapchat lens. This year’s Budweiser campaign is the biggest ever commercial creation from AB InBev. The Light Up the World Cup effort includes a video featuring drones carrying bottles of beer around the globe. Anheuser-Busch has keyed on experiential activity, too, with red-light cups containing audio detectors and LED lights. It also launched a sound-activated Snapchat filter, which responds to cheers. The brewer is also launching a new lens game for Snapchat.
2. Uber Eats and McDonald’s. This year, for the first time since 1958, Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup. In its ad campaign, McDonald’s and Uber Eats seek to help World Cup winner Andrea Pirlo of Italy find a new country to support in 2018. The “Team for Pirlo” campaign is a fun approach to a touchy topic for Italians. The campaign includes quotes from eight other soccer greats, including Rui Patricio of Portugal, Marcel Desailly of France and Jared Borgetti of Mexico.
3. Coca-Cola’s Scouts-themed ad. Aligning with Boy Scouts’ motto, “Be Prepared,” Coke has taken a vintage approach to its FIFA World Cup ads with its “Being Ready” campaign, featuring Argentina superstar Lionel Messi and his pals. Each ad applies the idea of big-game prep for a different audience, reminding customers to stock up on their favorite Coca-Cola product before the match.
4. Icelandair ‘Team Iceland’ stopover. Fans who tuned in to Euro 2016 might remember the incredible performance that Iceland delivered in defeating England—and going beyond anyone’s expectations. Icelandair is marking this year’s World Cup with a celebration about becoming the world’s least-populous nation to qualify for the big tournament. The “Team Iceland” campaign includes activities in Iceland around fitness, culture and wellness.