The FIFA World Cup is undeniably one of the biggest sports events on the planet—and the proof is in the numbers. In 2010, the audience for the Cup was 3.2 billion in South Africa. The biggest brands, of course, have not missed the opportunity to use this desirable platform to gain visibility, drive brand value, and strengthen emotional connections. An official event sponsor since 1978, with a contract to continue through 2022, Coca-Cola is one brand that has maximized this opportunity, creating many memorable World Cup moments.
Capturing the global spirit of the World Cup
Coca-Cola embodies the FIFA World Cup spirit both locally and globally like no other brand. Its campaign for the World Cup in Brazil—the "Everybody’s Cup"—refers to Brazil’s notably hospitable style of receiving any and all with open arms.
Realizing the power of music, futbol, and audience participation to unite people around the world, Coca-Cola brings its World Cup campaigns to life through theme-specific product packaging and songs that celebrate the event. Building on the success of the brand’s 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign song, “Wavin’ Flag”—which became an international hit and the “Song of the Cup”—Coca-Cola released a new song for the 2014 Cup: “The World Is Ours.”
Fusing pop vocals with samba rhythms, the carnival-inspired song introduces futbol fans worldwide to the signature sounds of the host nation, Brazil. Celebrating the way the Cup connects countries and cultures around the world, the video features hundreds of real futbol fans’ Instagram photos.
Creating an inclusive and participatory World Cup experience
Sponsoring an event of this scale calls for brand communication that both engages audiences who are already fans, and captivates new audiences to connect emotionally with the sport.
Unveiled ahead of the 2014 Cup’s opening match, Coca-Cola’s “The Happiness Flag” perfectly symbolizes the brand’s ability to create shared experiences that engage people across social, cultural, and geographical divides.
Formed of 192 printed nylon fabric panels, more than 200,000 fan images were incorporated to create the large “photomosaic” flag. Taking the notion of unity even further, the flag was based on a design developed by artists from countries that have a historic rivalry in futbol, Brazil and Argentina.
Along similar lines, Coca-Cola’s moving campaign for Argentina’s futbol team goes far beyond rivalry between nations; it compares life to a football match that results in cheers. Juxtaposing universal human moments of joy and tenderness with images of passionate fans and players in action, the spot succeeds in highlighting the emotions that unite us all.
In another emotional “win,” Coca-Cola recreates a special World Cup moment in the life of Victor Dell 'Aquila from Argentina, an amateur soccer player and devoted fan who lost his arms when he was 12-years-old. An image of Victor standing next to the futbol legends at the heart of his story immortalizes the moment in “El abrazo del alma” (“Embrace of the soul”).
Coca-Cola is at the top of its game as a global brand. By connecting emotionally on a specifically local level as well as on a massive global scale, it has successfully linked the universal desire to quench thirst to shared core values like family, friendship, fun and happiness.
In the spirit of The World Cup, from Brazil to Japan to Argentina—and everywhere in between—Coca-Cola translates emotionally to all.
Gil Bottari is a Senior Designer in Interbrand's São Paulo’s office.