The 2018 FIFA World Cup provides brands with the perfect platform to compete for the attention of football’s four billion fans worldwide. Brands like Budweiser, Visa and Coca-Cola are all going head-to-head to capture the world’s attention and finish the World Cup as this year’s most memorable sponsor.
Budweiser have focused their ‘Light Up the FIFA World Cup’ campaign on today’s evolving digital climate. One ad features hundreds of red drones which, like thousands of fans from across the world, have descended on Russia to deliver bottles to every individual. At a glance it’s far-fetched, but with various companies including CNN and Uber participating in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Programme, it seems aspects of the advert are teetering on reality.
Another element of their campaign is the noise-activated Budweiser cup. Each cup has three LED lights and a microphone which lights up in response to crowd noise. The cups are available in the majority of stadiums, are unique to each game and come in several languages. It is the brand’s first-ever noise-activated cup and they are sure to cause a scene at what is predicted to be the most-watched event on record.
Budweiser’s use of varied digital strategies allows them to reach the technology-driven fan who expects the latest and greatest from their everyday brands. In fact, many companies are taking a technological approach with their ads in the 2018 World Cup – not because they want to, but because they have to.
Consumers today are constantly having to keep up with the evolving digital landscape and the emergence of virtual reality devices, such as iPhones that detect your face or drones that deliver your Amazon packages. Therefore, companies like Visa, an official payment service of FIFA, are also pushing their technological innovations at this year’s World Cup. In order to promote their contactless technology further afield than just the UK, where it has now become the norm for small transaction payments, Visa is ensuring that all stadiums across Russia will accept contactless payment during the tournament.
Coca-Cola’s World Cup ad, ‘Uplifted Alex’, is unique in featuring the first video game character to be launched on real-world platforms. Alex Hunter, the protagonist of EA Sports’ FIFA18 video game, will become a Coca-Cola Zero Sugar ambassador during the course of the season.
It’s an interesting partnership for Coca Cola to invest in and appears to be risk-free territory. By creating a virtual partnership, the brand doesn’t need to worry about its endorsement being arrested and appearing on the front page of tabloids the next morning. While he can’t sign autographs or attend charity galas, he can feature on every advert for the entirety of the campaign. Alex Hunter and Coca Cola’s partnership could possibly be the entrance to a whole new world of virtual gaming and advertising.
This new era of advertising is moving at a concerning speed for brands who are trying to keep up. The 2018 FIFA World Cup is the greatest stage of all to showcase this new advertising era and subsequently brands are pulling out all the stops to impress viewers. With the high standard set for this competition, it’s anyone’s guess what the likes of Coca-Cola and Amazon are going to pull off in order to feed the technological-driven thirst that consumers today are yearning for.