World Cup marketing campaigns 2018 | DMA

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World Cup marketing campaigns 2018


Every four years the FIFA World Cup whips up an unrivalled global frenzy that transcends borders, generations, and language. As the world’s largest single-event sporting competition, the tournament presents the most powerful marketing platform in existence.

With the entire football-loving population (and then some) of the world watching, the World Cup is the ideal moment to unveil a brand spanking new campaign. It isn’t just an opportunity for the big spending global brands appointed as official sponsors, there is ample scope for many brands to tap into the feel-good factor that emanates from every corner of the globe.


Listerine has pulled out all the bells and whistles on social this year for its first World Cup sponsorship. Listerine will be doing its best to interject its brand into people’s World Cup conversations on social media by tweeting and Facebooking with the hashtag #PowertoYourMouth throughout the tournament. The campaign will be Listerine’s first foray into real-time social media marketing. Real-time marketing has, for better or worse, become a mainstay for any live event. Whilst live social coverage of any event can lead to some truly magical moments it can be a challenge to be heard amid the social media noise.


MasterCard may have scored a potential own goal with a charitable approach to their World Cup campaign. In an attempt to create empathy with football fans, MasterCard announced that for every goal scored in the World Cup by Lionel Messi or Neymar, it will provide 10,000 meals to starving children. However, this gesture has been heavily criticised by Twitter users questioning why the brand couldn’t make a charitable gesture without making a marketing campaign out of it.


Arguably the most stylish of all the campaigns, the BBC’s World Cup effort aims to take football fans on a journey through the competition’s iconic moments from the past. Titled ‘The Tapestry,’ the broadcasters’ animated launch film modernises traditional tapestry techniques. More than 227,000 metres of thread were used to create more than 600 unique frames of tapestry to explore World Cup history. A traditional Russian folk song accompanies the film, it’s enough to give you goosebumps.

Paddy Power

Like MasterCard, Paddy Power take a charitable approach to their World Cup campaign, pledging to donate £10,000 to LGBT charities for every goal scored by host nation, Russia. Their ‘Rainbow Russia’ campaign aims to challenge LGBT prejudice on and off the pitch. What sets this campaign apart from the MasterCard campaign is that Paddy Power will still donate a minimum of £50,000 if Russia fail to score any goals.

It’s not all been plain sailing for Paddy Power, the bookmaker took out a wraparound ad in the Metro newspaper which displayed a polar bear with a St George's cross dyed into its fur. The image was captioned 'England 'till I dye'. Get it? It's a pun. Hilarious. Needless to say, the response to this ad was far from positive.


Domino’s has joined forces with former footballer Jimmy Bullard on their new social campaign, positioning the pizza brand as ‘the official food of not going to international football tournaments.’ Despite being called up to the England squad multiple times Bullard never actually broke through into the first team for an international match, the reason why Domino’s decided he would be the perfect fit for a campaign about staying at home and not travelling out to Russia.

“What Jimmy lacks in national team caps he more than makes up for in his ability to deliver deadpan lines to camera, and laugh at himself in the process,” says Tony Holdway, sales and, marketing director at the Domino’s Pizza Group.

The World Cup offers the chance for brands big and small to take centre stage, from the weird to the wonderful everybody is in it to win it.

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