After nearly a month of football fever, the 2014 football World Cup finally ended with Germany lifting the cup. It has been a roller coaster ride for brands too as they have used one of the most watched sporting events in the world to carry out promotional activities.
Adidas was at the forefront of this race, with strong presence across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. According to data by Maxus Insights, Adidas’ “All In Or Nothing” campaign, along with the associated #allin hashtag received a total of 2,30,000 mentions across social media platform, of which, nearly 4,400 mentions came from India. The hashtag, according to analytics firms Meltwater.com and Simplify 360 received nearly 1,40,000 mentions on Twitter itself. In another study by AC Nielsen, it was found that more than 70 per cent of people who tweeted about the Adidas during the last week of the tournament also sent one of more tweets about the World Cup during the week.
Indian brands, too, were not far behind. Castrol launched a dedicated World Cup campaign on social media, roping in Bollywood celebrity John Abraham as ambassador. Twitter influencers and football enthusiasts were brought in to carry out regular Twitter contests, thus increasing brand visibility. The #clingontofootball hashtag received 3300 mentions. According to Meltwater, it constituted nearly 18 per cent of the total World Cup related buzz in India.
"This was a World Cup for records, and the first time that social networks mined data and channeled work cup fever through likes, retweets and supporter sentiments. India as ever, was growing in excitement, as presented by more than 1 crore mentions on World Cup 2014. It is clear that our country has a thirst for the growing sport of football,” said Zubair Timol, Area Director, India Middle East & Africa, Meltwater.
Perhaps, for the first time in Twitter history, brand managers and social media managers got an opportunity to test the veracity of hashtags on such a large scale. “Brands which used a hashtag consistently succeeded. For instance, Adidas used #allin as its primary hashtag. This is unlike brands like McDonald’s who used multiple hashtags inconsistently, for example, #BaconClubhouse was used in some places and #AskBaconClubhouse in others. #fryfootball was the hashtag which they used initially to promote McDonald's GOL Trickshots video,” said Vang Lian, Head Of Research at Simplify 360.
But Castrol was not the only Indian brand to piggyback on the World Cup’s popularity. Other brands like Viber, Coca-Cola, XOLO, Lay’s, Flipkart, Sony Bravia, were a few more that ran social media campaigns designed around the World Cup with varying degrees of success. For example, according to Maxus Insights, Likes on XOLO’s Facebook page had increased by 17,575 by the day of the finals. Similar jumps were seen by Aircel India (20,135) and Nokia India (22,208) which launched World Cup themed songs on Nokia MixRadio. Similarly, campaigns by Hero (#GoHeroGo) and ICICI Bank (#MyFootballMoment) also saw traction on social media. Croma’s #Croma11Quiz, meanwhile, also saw 1700 mentions.
However, the level of engagement on social media was limited to Facebook and Twitter. According to Meltwater, Twitter showed the most activity by brands, followed by Facebook. The level of activity on other social platforms was almost negligible.