Barcelona FC did something unique by putting together an Argentinian (Messi) and a Brazilian (Neymar Jr.) to play together. It was epic. It is also unexpected to combine one Brazilian and one Argentinian advertising researcher to write (and agree) on how to maximise communication efforts during the World Cup. It won’t be epic but hopefully this will be useful.
The football World Cup triggers emotions
Sporting events such as the World Cup involve passion, highly emotional content and can provide incredible moments. Many marketers take the opportunity to invest in communications that build and/or reinforce traits such as pride, patriotic values or just a sense of belonging that a national team can help convey, hoping to fully leverage these values to build and reinforce their brands.
Our focus in this article, (which like any good football* match is a game of two halves), is to first explore the risks and benefits for the advertisers when making such a bet, because as Vance Law, former professional baseball player, said, “It is amazing how quickly emotions can change.”
In this first half analysis, we want to show you what we have learned by testing many ads during these huge events; determine which objectives and challenges seem to apply and share some evidence that makes us believe that the mood of the crowd can play a critical role in how your consumers will respond towards your brands. Right after the World Cup, we expect to show you further evidence of how the mood factor can indeed influence consumer nonconscious responses.
Where are we coming from?
At Ipsos, we have been measuring and understanding how brands can effectively bring return on marketing efforts before, during and after many important sporting events including the football World Cup since 2002. We have been running continuous studies for our clients and published key findings over time.
As uncertain as who is going to win the World Cup, the reality is that anything can happen for the advertisers that are willing to play. We have identified some of the most important objectives and challenges any brand will need to consider in order to play and win in this highly competitive tournament.
Objective number 1: “Getting the attention of the crowd”
Objective number 2: “Your goal is people response”
To conclude: “Great to be lucky, but nothing replaces preparation and effort”
Succeeding in the marketing World Cup takes as much as preparation as a bit of luck for how well the national team will perform. So, if you want to increase the odds, first be certain your strategy targets the encountering point of a) consumer engagement with the event; b) the values the event portrays; and c) the fit of your brand’s purpose with the latter two.
Stay tuned for our “second half” article to be published at the end of the World Cup. There we intend to complete the analysis exploring how consumers’ nonconscious responses can change according to people’s different moods depending upon the outcome of the games.
Good luck for all the football fans, but with all due respect, especially for the Brazilian and Argentine ones!