As the 2014 FIFA World Cup comes to an end, it becomes clear that a handful of brands have risen to the top on social media sites like Twitter. Brands like Adidas, McDonalds and Coca-Cola went as far as setting up marketing newsroom hubs to send out the real-time, effective content. These brands used multimedia, creative hashtags and quick responses to gain a following, start conversations with consumers and spread their brand name.
To prepare for the World Cup media storm, Adidas built an elaborate real-time marketing hub in Rio de Janeiro, complete with three flat screens to keep track of games and a fourth to follow the most searched players among the 100 World Cup athletes Adidas sponsors. The company has spent the last year building a campaign that comes to point in this room during the month-long World Cup. Its goal, to be “the most talked about brand in the World Cup.”
Every potential game, goal, penalty, injury, you name it, was prepared for with thousands of images and 160 videos curated into a “Content Bible” by the UK social media agency We Are Social that could be grabbed and sent out within moments of a major event.
From the beginning of the World Cup, Adidas posted four to five videos a day, quickly gaining a following on YouTube (more than 200,000 new subscribers since the games started). Posting this frequently obviously set Adidas apart from other advertisers, garnering 570,000 mentions on Twitter since June 12. However, the quality of the posts, from photos to videos to vines to retweets, is what really made Adidas “the most talked about brand in the World Cup.”
McDonalds, among many other brands, quickly took to Twitter following Uruguay player Luis Suarez’s famed mid-game bite of Italy player Branislav Ivanovic. Shortly after the incident the official Uruguayan Twitter account suggested Suarez “take a bite” of a Big Mac if he’s hungry, winky face included.
The brand also frequently connected current World Cup events to its peel and play sweepstakes using company and fan tweets of people playing for the sweepstakes during game times.
Additionally, McD’s managed to get its hashtag #fryfutbol, created to promote its French fry based trick-shot app, onto the Twitter promoted trends page. Not such a big deal upon first glance, but look closer and you’ll see that the hashtag was trending in 57 countries worldwide, making it the first truly globally promoted trend on the site.
Coca-Cola’s real time marketing plan, much like Adidas, is centered around “The Hub,” a network of 23 consumer-interaction centers around the world linked to the main, Atlanta-based Hub, which analyzes social media conversations about the brand. The second team, The Hustle, operates like a newsroom, creating and sharing information and responses.
This plan sometimes leads to good intentioned but quickly sent tweets that receive a less than all around positive response, like the two below:
However, Coke is tweeting by the motto that “speed trumps perfection” hoping that its real-time responses will resonate more than a perfectly-crafted post.
One of the more successful social media moves by Coca-Cola has been its “Happiness Flag” campaign, which is made up of hundreds of thousands of consumer-submitted selfies. Not only did Coke produce the selfie flag quickly, but they also individually emailed all 220,000 people who submitted photos, telling them where they could find their face on the flag.
[Sources: Ad News , Coca-Cola, Business Insider, Mashable, TechCrunch, Ad Age, Digiday]