News | 17/06/2014

The Social World Cup

Posted by Christian Ryan

The greatest tournament in the world has been in full swing for a week now and it’s produced the most goals since 1930 as well as throwing up some fantastic games. It’s also thrown up some equally fantastic social media campaigns, as this competition has become the first of its kind to embrace social so whole-heartedly.

Twitter has taken advantage of this by making it easy for users to show your true colours by producing patriotic avatars for your Twitter account and streaming live scores to your home page. Facebook has also produced live in-play scores and an interactive fan map so users can see the popularity of their biggest stars in different countries.
Brands have also taken advantage of this world cup to produce some fantastically witty social media campaigns to help increase brand exposure and their audiences.

Here are my top 3 brands using social media to comical effect at the world cup so far

Paddy Power

Paddy Power has continued with the same brand of “close to the line” humour that they produced during last season’s premiership. Whilst there’s been no David Moyes statue or any mention of Oscar Pistorius they’ve continued to post images to their social channels which reinforce football fans “banter” and common talking points.

Whether it’s Mark Lawrenson’s spice for life or comical talking points from the group games so far like Van Persie and Van Gaal’s comical high five miss Paddy Power continue to be a brand that their target market associate with.


Nike appears to beat official sponsor Adidas every world cup by creating innovative and “cool” ads that every football fan wants to watch.
Nike Football has led with an advert, which see’s cartoon characters of some of the world’s biggest football stars including Rooney, Neymar, and Ronaldo compete in the “last game” against clones of themselves. It’s hashtag #riskeverything connotes risk and danger and so becomes immediately exciting. The ad also features another star of the game that didn’t make it to the world cup Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Nike have used his no show at the world cup to their advantage by creating short videos of the cartoon Zlatan character commenting on big talking points at the world cup and posting these via Facebook and Twitter attracting masses of shares and likes for their page. The immediacy and relevancy of these posts is what really resonates as it shows the passion the brand clearly have and share with football fans.
This video was posted after Ochoa turned out a man of the match performance against tournament hosts and favourites Brazil.

Project Babb (Telegraph Sport)

One of my favourite resources for this world cup has been the Telegraph Sport’s sub site Project Babb. I stumbled across this via Twitter and had no idea it was affiliated with the Telegraph; the blog takes a satirical look at the goings on of the World Cup by posting video’s, photo’s and quotes.
The tone is a little different from what we’re used to from the broadsheet and I wonder whether the fact it’s a sub domain gives it license to be a little more irreverent in its humor. Each of the articles are incredibly shareable and easy to share, as is the ability to follow The Telegraph Sport’s Twitter and Facebook pages. It’s a great way to use an event to exponentially increase the engagement of their social networks and the subsequent audience of the Telegraph. The ability to monetise the digital world has long been a problem for publishers but the key could lie with obtaining engaged social media audiences.

This is the article that initially attracted my attention via Twitter, a top trumps of the football pundits from the BBC and ITV. This content is so engaging shareable as you know it will resonate with such a big community.

1 week in and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the world cup so far, the accessibility of social media has really added another dimension to the enjoyment.

What have been some of your favourite World Cup inspired marketing campaigns?