The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Advertising

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With the 2018​ FIFA World Cup kicking off this very afternoon, we've scoured the internet to bring you the best ads, campaigns, brand activations and more that have sprung up in the last few weeks in honour of the tournament known to those who follow such things as the “greatest show on earth.”


Iris Amsterdam – Dutch Comfort


Iris Amsterdam has created orange tissue boxes illustrated with some of the most iconic moments in Dutch football history to help the nation remember past victories as they mourn not making this summer’s world tournament. It’s the second major tournament the Dutch team have missed out on recently, having also not qualified for the 2016 European Championship. Each Dutch Comfort box is created in the national orange colour and features illustrations of past Dutch footballing greatness. The illustrated images represent Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s goal in 2010 against Uruguay in the World Cup semi-finals, as well as the ‘flying Dutchman’ Robin van Persie’s iconic header in the 2014 World Cup against Spain. Illustrator David Flanagan was behind the creations, having worked on previous football designs for Manchester City FC and New York City FC. Whilst the Dutch Comfort boxes are not for sale, a select number of the limited edition boxes will be available to players and fans. People just have to tweet their favourite Dutch footballing moment to @DutchComfortBox for the chance to win.


Mercado McCann – Coca-Cola (Being READY)

After two years of closely working together, Coca-Cola and Mercado McCann will honour the FIFA World Cup in Russia presenting one of the brand’s most meaningful advertising campaigns in 200 different countries. Mercado McCann was not only responsible for developing the central idea of the campaign: “Being READY,” three of the four TV commercials of this campaign (designed for various formats) were also developed by the agency: “Stock Up,” set to the beat of “Are you ready”by AC/DC, cheekily aims to inspire football fans to purchase enoughCoca-Cola before each World Cup match and “Ready For,” sees employees talking to bottles of Coke, preparing themselves for the emotions they may experience during the World Cup. Both spots feature musical artist Jason Derulo, writer and performer of Coca-Cola’s anthem for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The third ad, Uplifted Alex is the first to appear within the frame of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and is the first spot created within a video game to be launched on real-world platforms. When playing EA Sport’s FIFA ’18 in Journey mode, Alex Hunter, star of the game, will sign a sponsorship contract with Coca-Cola becoming the brand’s first virtual ambassador and players will be able to watch him shoot a commercial. Live. “Uplifted Alex” came to life as an ad to launch the new Coca-Cola Zero Sugar being pre-released on the Coca-Cola Sign in Times Square – the first 3D electro-kinetic billboard. The commercial was later played in movie theatres and on social media platforms. The fourth spot, “Uplifters” was developed by The Cyranos // McCann from Barcelona.


Street Child World Cup: The Future Depends On You


A renowned British illustrator from Bath Spa University has stunningly captured the Street Child World Cup: The Future Depends On You in Moscow ahead of this year’s FIFA World Cup using a series of reportage illustrations – a visual journalism technique which records events by hand and in real time. Tim Vyner, Senior Lecturer in Illustration at the University, has drawn and documented major events across the world including many sporting events. He was commissioned by the UK charity, Street Child United, to digitally document this year’s tournament, The Street Child United World Cup: The Future Depends on You. The event saw more than 200 street-connected children from across the globe take part in their own international football tournament, festival of arts and congress for their rights.


The reportage illustrations, which are drawn on an iPad then animated with recorded audio to capture the essence of that exact moment in time, tell the stories of young boys and girls, representing 24 national teams, playing to change the negative perceptions and treatment of street-connected children across the world. Off the pitch, the young people will make their voices heard, calling for the rights of millions of children surviving on the streets worldwide.


The artwork created from the Street Child United World Cup helped tell some of the amazing stories that unfolded at the event, including the opening and closing ceremonies, which saw Brazilian footballer Gilberto Silva take part in Q&As with each team, expressive drumming workshops and the Late Shows, a series of on stage evening performances, choreographed by team members which highlighted the culture of their country in the form of music, dance or drama. Each piece created by Tim demonstrates the power reportage illustration has in capturing the atmosphere of an event, in a form that enables viewers to become immersed in the moment. The illustrations went on to be displayed in an inspiring exhibition at the Amber Plaza in Moscow attended by FIFA World Cup winner Gilberto Silva and the Ambassadors of Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Indonesia and Uzbekistan. The exhibition formed part of the Street Child United General Assembly, which provides inspirational young people with the opportunity to tell their story and appeal for change in the way they are perceived and treated. The General Assembly enables the young people to ensure that their voices are heard across the world.


TBWA\London – Lidl

Lidl UK, the Official Supermarket of the England football team, are celebrating the 2018 World Cup with their “Dream Big with Lidl” campaign, underlining their three-year partnership and endorsement of the Three Lions. With support from agencies CSM Sport & Entertainment, TBWA\London, Starcom, 360i and GOAT, the campaign brings together both the supermarket’s backing of the England team and Lidl’s grassroots initiative “FA Lidl Skills,” which has created 3 million opportunities for 5-11 year olds to play football over the last three years. TBWA\London has created a series of TVCs, which feature cheeky under-11s whom impart their wisdom to England footballers Gary Cahill, Kyle Walker and Raheem Sterling to help them succeed in the tournament. In a partnership first for the brand, the players are featured in above the line content. This will be live across cinema, radio, social, broadcast VOD, online video and large format DOOH in key city rail stations and mall locations, including Waterloo and London Bridge, as well as featuring in cover-wraps, consecutive FPs and partnerships in print, delivered by Starcom.


VCCP – Domino's

Jimmy Bullard is a household name for many reasons, his illustrious football career and appearing on I’m A Celebrity amongst those. However many remember him as one of the most famous football players to never earn an England cap. Although called up to the squad a few times, he never managed to make it onto the pitch for an international tournament. For this reason, Domino’s, the UK’s favourite pizza brand, think that he’s the perfect spokesman for staying home whilst there’s a bit of football going on in Russia. As the official spokesperson of watching football on TV, viewers will see Jimmy in his natural habitat, on his sofa, in his kitchen, ordering a Domino’s pizza, all captured by a series of social videos shot in a documentary style. Created by VCCP, for maximum impact this tongue-in-cheek campaign will be promoted socially with a special tie-up with Sport Bible, offering a candid look at Jimmy as he prepares for his role at home. The campaign will also be activated across YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as well as through CRM.


Budweiser (The King of Pubs and The Bud Boat)


Budweiser is helping pubs and bars celebrate the euphoria of fans ahead of and during this year’s World Cup, with the launch of “King of Pubs.” The brand will help customers drive footfall, increase dwell time and drive rate of sell, with the King of Pubs competition, as well as a MatchPint partnership, high- energy viewing parties and a series of epic football-focused prize giveaways for punters. King of Pubs is a national search for the country’s highest energy pub, with the most euphoric atmosphere for watching football. Ten pubs and their punters will go head-to-head during the World Cup to win the coveted ‘King of Pubs’ title, as well as Budweiser’s £10,000 Pub Futures grant. The Pub Futures grant is an investment by the UK’s fastest growing beer brandi to secure the future of the winning local for its passionate, football-loving community.


Budweiser is also (literally) lighting up the World Cup at one of the most epic events for football fans to watch every match in the tournament. Cruising down London’s iconic River Thames, the Bud Boat will be the heartbeat of the city’s FIFA World Cup celebrations. Hosting unrivalled screening parties, awesome DJs, amazing bars (and more) the Bud Boat will be the place to watch your team play. Secure your ticket to watch the greatest sporting tournament on earth and enjoy three decks of intense football experiences on board the Bud Boat. Soak up the Great British summer with your friends on the top deck while enjoying the beautiful game on Budweiser’s giant viewing screen and taking in London’s incredible skyline. The work is being delivered by Octagon.


Lucky Generals – Budweiser

With the FIFA World Cup moments away and excitement ramping up, MindsEye's first World Cup spot for Budweiser through Lucky Generals has gone live. The film celebrates Budweiser's sponsorship of the world's biggest sports competition by getting football fans from around the globe to show their passion for the game. Footy fans are challenged to make as much noise as possible for a chance to win a limited-edition bottle of Budweiser. And for the most passionate fans of all, they could even find themselves with tickets to the World Cup itself. The film, which was directed by Chris Faith, was shot in London, Seoul and Rio de Janeiro across two weeks and involved building a fully customised and interactive vending machine along with a very intricate hidden camera setup.


Perfect Fools – Oddset (The Janne Walk)

Jan Olof “Janne” Andersson, head coach of Sweden’s national football team, is used to enjoying uninterrupted thinking time on his walk to work, but now he’s being trolled by fans pitching match tactics along his two-hour commute. Swedish betting company Oddset bought space on billboards along the 12km/seven-mile route of Andersson’s daily stroll, and challenged its customers (and players) to post their inspirational thoughts and tips for Janne to read. The Janne Walk campaign was conceived by the football mad men and women at international communications agency Perfect Fools. They will curate thousands of suggestions and select 40 comments a day to broadcast to nine OOH digital sites while Janne is on the road to and from his home on Lidingö island to his office at Friends Arena in Stockholm. Janne has no escape from the nation’s collective football knowledge, from suggestions how to counter the German defence and what needs to be done in extra time to nail it, to what pre-match food the players should eat - no piece of advice is too trivial. Fans are expected to submit hundreds of tips each day. All content is screened for unacceptable or 'fruity' football terrace language, prior to being fed to screens. There are no prizes, only the glory of advising Janne.


Chime – Paddy Power

Just in time for the kick off of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, creative agency Chime has launched its cheeky, new, no-nonsense campaign for Paddy Power. Directed by Rattling Stick's Andy McLeod, the spot features multiple scenarios of varying ridiculousness, all of which are 'solved' with the advent of video assistant referee technology (otherwise known as VAR).


The BBC (History will be made)


A giant embroidered tapestry is how the BBC is bringing the heritage of the World Cup to life. The seven-metres long installation takes in some of the most iconic football World Cup moments, and will expand during the 2018 tournament.


AMV BBDO – Currys PC World (Go big for the big games)


In anticipation of the World Cup, Curry’s PC World are encouraging football fans to “Go Big” with their latest 48-sheet special builds, designed to look like oversized TV boxes. Research conducted earlier this year by the Currys Research & Insight team showed that a potential 3.4million people were considering upgrading their home entertainment and electricals ahead of the football tournament. This simple, yet effective special build perfectly targets this huge audience in a unique way. Concepted by AMV BBDO and bought to life by Clear Channel’s Create team, the special installations are made from a stud metal frame, clad with diabond panels. The printed vinyl is then installed onto the outside of the box.


The Brooklyn Brothers/Islenska – Icelandair (Team Iceland Stopover)

As proud sponsors of the Icelandic national team, Icelandair is celebrating their achievements this summer, with 90-minute football inspired experiences, all included in the price of any Icelandair Stopover flight ticket Players from the Men’s and Women’s football teams have co-created these experiences with the airline which showcase both their individual passions and the history of the nation A lot can be achieved in 90-minutes, both on and off the pitch, and Captain Aron Gunnarsson invites travellers to make the most of their time with a Team Iceland Stopover. From enjoying some downtime with “Relax like a Pro” to discovering the skill and strength of the players with “Train the Icelandic Way” or learning how to cheer like some of the most passionate fans in the world with “Support like an Icelander,” there’s something for all of the family. The campaign has been created by The Brooklyn Brothers and Icelandic agency Islenska.


Vivo (My time, my FIFA World Cup)

Vivo, the official smartphone sponsor of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, has launched a new global campaign titled “My Time, My FIFA World Cup,” at Beijing's Olympic Forest Park today. The campaign comprises of advertising spots, and special music and photography-led marketing activations. These include the Vivo Super Fan Photographer programme, providing fans with unprecedented pitch-side, stadium and warm up session access, as well as the Vivo Super Time project, which will elevate the fan experience during the FIFA World Cup performance segment. The thematic campaign advocates the belief that everyone can be extraordinary and calls upon people of the world to seize moments of opportunity to be extraordinary in their lives. Vivo hopes to empower people to go beyond being just an audience at the FIFA World Cup, but to become a participant, a creator, and to enable extraordinary moments to be seen, shared and remembered. As part of the campaign, Vivo will also be launching the Vivo Super Time project, where there will be a series of unique music-themed activities throughout the tournament, including the Vivo Super DJ show at all 64 matches, to unite football fans and music lovers around the world.


180 Kingsday – Qatar Airways (All Together Now)

There’s nothing quite like the World Cup on the horizon to put a spring into everybody’s step. This sense of fun and anticipation is perfectly captured in Qatar Airways’ first World Cup campaign by the airline’s agency of record, 180 Kingsday. It features a re-recording of the classic song “Dancing in the Streets” with singer and TV personality Nicole Scherzinger – best known as judge on both the UK and US’s X-Factor. The result is an upbeat and infectiously fun-filled ‘musical’ style TV commercial, backed by a global media spend. The “All Together Now” campaign is a complete visual identity and branding for Qatar Airways’ World Cup sponsorship, which covers design, print, online, OOH, social – but is led by a 60 second TVC (above) that sees the world singing and dancing along to the iconic song. The musical caper features dancing fans of all ages and ethnicities singing cabin crew in Doha and dancing match stewards and mascots in Russia. The TV commercial was shot by award winning director collective Traktor, and was lit by legendary Director of Photography Tim Maurice-Jones – who was the cinematographer on movies such as Snatch, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and Kick Ass.


Clemenger BBDO Sydney – TAB

TAB and Clemenger BBDO Sydney have launched a campaign ahead of the World Cup, “Head or Heart.” The campaign brings into focus the greatest rivalry in sports betting, the battle between the pragmatism of betting with your head, and the pure gut feel of betting with your heart. The integrated campaign includes a 60 and 30 second TVCs, retail, product spots, social, digital, print and live activations in venues across Australia throughout the tournament. The creative aims to celebrate fans no matter which 'team' they barrack for, or how they punt and pays homage to the one of the most recognisable and anticipated parts of football, the chant.


72andSunny – Optus Sport

In a major step towards establishing itself as the home of elite international football in Australia, Optus Sport has launched a new campaign via 72andSunny APAC, announcing its position as the exclusive Australian broadcaster airing all 64 matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Aussie viewers will be able to experience every emotion of the tournament with Optus Sport's full coverage, including two 24/7 channels and all 64 matches both live and on demand.


Studio Blackburn – Kickstarter (World Cup Wall Chart)


Inspired by Russian Suprematism, the early 20th century art movement, this World Cup Wall Chart depicts a deconstructed football pitch complete with bold Russian language typography. This edition is the latest in a series of designs from Studio Blackburn and Nirvana CPH, who have been collaborating on design-led tournament wall charts since the 2002 World Cup. The graphics recall the classic design and styling of Soviet-era football teams, with a nod to this year’s Lev Yashin inspired World Cup poster. The striking design and high quality paper and screen printing process ensure the wall chart will be both functional during the tournament, and a desirable collectible that fans will want to keep after the final whistle is blown in Russia. Backers can personalise their wall chart by choosing what colour of the Russian flag they want it to come in—picking from red, white and blue. Early bird backers will be able to claim their chart for a reduced price of £20 Backers can also opt for the limited gold foil version for £50. This year’s design is the first to be made available to the public, with the project previously being carried out for family and friends only.


Who Wot Why – Sky Bet

Sky Bet are going global with a multi-language TV spot, hosted by Jeff Stelling. The film promotes Sky Bet’s World Cup “Money Back” offer. In the film, British sports broadcaster Jeff Stelling gets his lips round French, German, Spanish, Swedish, Japanese and Russian. To ensure Stelling’s pronunciation was perfect, Sky Bet and advertising agency Who Wot Why put Stelling through a rigorous language training regime. Native speakers from each nation worked closely with Stelling over many weeks. Russian proved the most complicated, with Russian translator Kirill requiring multiple intensive sessions to transform Stelling’s Hartlepool lilt into an authentic Russian accent. The film went live ahead of the British bank holiday last month and was subtitled to help viewers understand Jeff’s new lingo. Sky Bet’s Go Global campaign will continue to run throughout the tournament, supported by additional TV, digital display, content and print.


Leo Burnett London – Betfair

Bookmaker Betfair launched a TV ad in time for the World Cup for the Betfair Exchange, as the first part of a new campaign created by Leo Burnett London – the agency’s first work since April, when it won the business to position Betfair as a destination for sports bettors. The strategy, informed by research by PeopleLab, comprises a suite of through-the-line strands designed to re-introduce consumers to the Betfair brand and what it stands for. The first ad to air was to build awareness of its revolutionary alternative betting platform: the Betfair Exchange. The latest addition to the Betfair campaign is a 30-second “Best Odds” commercial, where a savvy young sports fan identifies Betfair as offering “the best odds on the World Cup.”


Taylor Herring – Betfair

An amateur football team from London were left speechless when legends Rio Ferdinand, Michael Ballack, Michel Salgado and Rivaldo were substituted onto the pitch to play against them during a local five-a-side match. Hidden cameras captured the moment when footballing royalty turned up to hand out a master-class in “the beautiful game.” The former international stars staged the prank with the help of bookmakers Betfair ahead of the start of this year’s World Cup, due to kick off in Russia tomorrow. The prank was setup after a number of local teams responded to cryptic DIY posters created by the legends. The mysterious poster gave little information apart from a number of outrageous claims including; the team were “proper class” and had scored “100s of goals scored all over the world.” After an influx of amateur teams looking for a game, the former international players picked out a team to stage the prank on. A team of lads turned up for the game, only to be greeted by an unfit, overweight, middle-aged squad of 50 year olds. With a coin-toss between the captains complete, the older team showed they had confidence and the guts by making a shrewd bet, the men took to the field to play however, ten minutes into the game the older chaps were in dire assistance of a break. Showing their smarts from the earlier bet, the unfit 50-year old goalkeeper hailed over the superstar substitutes. The international sensations descended on to the pitch and delivered world-class silky skills, showboating with expert tackles, exceptional goals and infamous signature celebrations. The dream team left the field with minutes to spare to allow the middle-aged team to take all of the glory. The video was created and produced by public relations agency Taylor Herring, along with the support from their production arm St Marks Studio.


McCann – Xbox (FIFA 18)

FIFA 18, the latest in the football videogame series, was going to be crucial for Xbox. However, Xbox’s competitor had paid a fortune to buy all the marketing rights for the game. It meant that while they had total freedom to advertise the game any way they wanted, Microsoft had the opposite – a 100% ban on marketing the game across all media. They couldn’t even show their own game packshot. McCann London leveraged something bigger than videogame football – real football. In partnership with Real Madrid and a top FIFA gamer, they translated every pass, every shot, every possible combination on the pitch into the corresponding Xbox controller buttons for FIFA 18, in real time. With live perimeter boards and commentary, as well as reactive social and post-match newspaper reports, the tactic linked FIFA with Xbox in the minds of football-loving gamers, without ever mentioning the game or contravening the marketing deal.



COPA90, as the leading youth football media brand is involved in a range of activities linked to the World Cup in Russia.

COPA90 and Snapchat


COPA90 will produce exclusive pop-up Publisher Stories for Snapchat Discover with 45 daily editions in 5 languages throughout the World Cup. Starting on Saturday 2 June - 12 days before the World Cup begins - and ending the day after the World Cup Final on Monday 16 July, each of COPA90’s 45 daily editions will be produced in English, French, Arabic, German and Spanish, and will be available to Snapchatters all over the world outside of the United States. COPA90’s Publisher Stories will celebrate football and its fans, bringing together all the excitement of the World Cup in a unique never-before-seen style. Each Story will take Snapchatters right into the heart of the World Cup as experienced by young fans in Russia and around the world, taking advantage of Snapchat’s unique storytelling capabilities, to bring a totally immersive and direct experience.

COPA90 World Cup Book - a Fan's Guide


COPA90 has also teamed up with Penguin to publish a definitive fans' book for the World Cup. This builds on COPA90's status as the home of global fan culture: Our World Cup, a Fan's Guide to 2018 brings to life the tournament's history and drama. The Penguin paperback is created by COPA90's own in-house team of football fanatics, and contains something for every football fan including the full run-down on all 32 competing nations, with a focus on each side's biggest legend and most promising young star, and the most memorable moments in World Cup history. Featuring stunning photography and graphics in the unique COPA90 style, the comprehensive guide includes specialist insight gathered from COPA90’s own travels to Russia, including colourful stories about the venues and local attractions.

COPA90 Moscow Club House


For the World Cup event itself, COPA90 opens doors to fans and creators at its new Moscow Club House - designed to celebrate fans' passion and Russian culture. Based in Moscow at Trekhgornaya manufaktura, a destination complex for the city’s creative community that comprises start-ups, bars, and restaurants, the COPA90 Club House will provide a platform for Russian football fans to showcase their creativity to the rest of the world, using football exhibitions and art to provide a vibrant backdrop for a series of film screenings and panel events throughout the tournament. Created as an antidote to the traditional broadcast media studios at tournaments, which are cut off and isolated from the fans, COPA90 Club House is designed to deliver a real hit of the passion and excitement that surrounds the World Cup in Russia. COPA90 is using the space to host its new exhibition of Russian analogue photography and stories created by Goal Click, a global photography project that unites football fans and communities around the world. The display will feature large-scale artwork from the ‘alternative sticker album’ Tschutti Heftil, which commissions artists across the globe to illustrate each World Cup squad. The COPA90 Club House will also provide a co-working hub for global creators to meet like-minded people, collaborate and share experiences throughout the tournament. Russian creative studio FANDLs (Faces&Laces Studio) partnered with COPA90 to manage production and day-to-day operation of the Club House as well as communication with local media throughout the tournament.


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