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FIFA Soccer World Cup 2010: Social media scores big!

It’s Waka, Waka time on social media! Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are all abuzz with football fans rooting for their team, celebrating team wins and moaning defeats. Advertisers are having a field day, leveraging the power of social media to promote their mighty brands.

Yup…there’s heavy-duty competition on the social media turf, as well. The heat is on to catch the larger social media mind space. Right now, Nike seems to have taken the early lead. According to independent studies by Nielsen and Meltwater, Nike (now, called the unofficial sponsor!) has generated the most buzz online in the lead up to the World Cup. Much greater than Adidas, it’s arch-rival and official sponsor. Coca Cola, Sony, Visa and other FIFA partners are lagging far behind.

Level of pre fifa soccer world cup 2010 buzz online

Source: Nielsen

So, what’s drives Nike’s success? Nike’s smart use of its 3-minute television commercial ‘Write the future’, featuring Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba and even Homer Simpson. The commercial has been viewed over 14 million times since mid-May. What’s so amazing about the success of Nike campaign is that it effectively blurs the line between traditional media and social media. It really brings out the best that Web 2.0 offers – INTERACTIVITY.

People watch – Nike TVC.

People watch again when they like something – Nike TVC on Youtube.

People talk about it and encourage others to watch it – Nike TVC discussed on Facebook/Twitter.

That ultimately spells the success of the Nike World Cup campaign. And it also brings to the forefront the term ambush marketing, which refers to an ad campaign run by a company that’s not directly affiliated to an event like the FIFA World Cup. And Nike’s success only goes on to prove that ambush marketing works great with social media. The reason being the high level of virality involved. Everyone knows that the potential of viral messages is indeed tremendous, and the reach goes beyond geographical boundaries.

But be warned, this is only the beginning. The World Cup has just begun. And the advertisers are gearing up for some top-level action. Adidas has launched its Adidas FIFA World Cup Match-Ups on Facebook and also unveiled a star-studded commercial as a part of its Quest campaign. Budweiser has launched a World Cup-inspired online reality TV series. The “Bud United” series follows 32 football fans – one representing each nation playing the World Cup – living together for the duration of the tournament. Sony Ericsson has its own share of social media activity on Facebook UK backed by TV personalities David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and James Corden. Every major advertiser – sponsor or otherwise – has something big going on in the social media circuit.

The effectiveness of individual campaigns has to be watched for. However, there is no denying the fact that social media has changed the way the world advertises.

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About the Author

Rupa is SEO Copywriter with Zitz Solutions. Her interests are: Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing.


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2 Responses to “FIFA Soccer World Cup 2010: Social media scores big!”
  1. Olivia Jade says:

    Thanks for the post! I came across an article that lists out very effective campaigns along the lines of the FIFA 2010 World Cup…
    Hope it’s useful!

  2. Adidas must be kicking themselves! Not surprised Adidas, an official sponsor, has been surpassed by Nike. The company I work for, London based Search and Social conversion agency Tamar.com, produced 2 research papers (Tamar Sports Index) (www.tamar.com/thinking/white-papers) around brands and the World Cup. Our research shows the big FIFA Partner brands were missing a massive opportunity to associate themselves online with the competition, by linking with top search terms such as “world cup” and “FIFA World Cup”.

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