The World Cup Runneth Over with Awesome Marketing Campaigns

Adidas, Budweiser, Hyundai, McDonald’s, Sony, Visa—grande brands are putting big money behind their 2014 FIFA World Cup campaigns. But it’s not just official sponsors and partners who are bringing their A game. There’s some really great work being done by all kinds of brands. It just goes to show that you don’t have to spend multimillions to have an impact…

…although sometimes, of course, you do. Eight major marketers, including AmBev, Banco Itau, Coca-Cola, and Johnson & Johnson, are reportedly shelling out a cumulative total of $600 million to Brazil’s top TV network Globo for the right to have a TV presence around the World Cup games and related coverage.

But here are a few cool campaigns that get their point across without breaking the bank:

In Beer we trust

This is a brand that really gets customer experience: Brazilian beer company Foca knows that all football fans want to do is watch their team play live—but some important games go down during the work day and people can’t just skive off to watch soccer in the middle of the afternoon. Or can they?

Foca teamed up with Grey Brazil to register football as an official religion under Brazil’s Religious Freedom Act to give football fanatics the opportunity to claim time off from their jobs to observe their faith, a.k.a., head down to the pub to watch their favorite team play and chug Foca beer. There is some debate, however, as to whether or not the campaign is just a marketing stunt. Brazil apparently doesn’t actually have a Religious Freedom Act…

But let’s pretend it’s real and that there’s no more need to hit “alt + tab” when your boss walks by your desk to quickly switch from the streaming game back to a decoy spreadsheet.


Dressed to score

What’s a girl to wear to the World Cup? Well, if you’re a fan of the Netherlands national football team, then brewery company Bavaria wants the answer to be the 2014 “HolánDress.”

A bit of back story: At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Dutch creative agency Selmore designed the first HolánDress. Aimed at the female consumer, the HolánDress is a reversible garment that—with a few quick zipper manipulations—goes from a regular dress decorated with flowers to a bright orange advertisement for the Dutch team. (A few people were actually arrested in 2010 for breaking FIFA’s rules around World Cup advertising. As part of a guerilla marketing ploy, Bavaria—not a World Cup sponsor—sent a group of attractive women into a Holland versus Denmark game wearing what seemed to be innocent dresses. Then, at a signal, they all reversed their outfits and suddenly became a big orange ad for Bavaria.)

In any case, Bavaria is at it again with a new version of the HolánDress, this time for World Cup Brazil.

Dresses are available for free with multipacks of Bavaria beer.


Bem-vindo (Welcome)

The Brazilian ministry of tourism and the Brazilian Tourism Board (known as Embratur), launched a big international travel campaign a couple of weeks ago, which makes good sense considering the World Cup is just around the corner and Brazil is center stage. The country is expecting more than 600,000 international visitors to descend for the World Cup and for more than 26 million people to tune in around the globe.

But whether or not you decide to go all out, you can still take advantage of World Cup buzz without spending a penny.

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