Real-Time Marketing and the World Cup

real-time marketing with World Cup 2014Real-time marketing has taken the field in the World Cup, with some brands scoring big, while others face serious penalties.  Considering the World Cup has an expected audience of 3.6 billion (Hubspot), it’s no surprise that brands want to get in on the games, and get in front of fans.

But with limited commercial and sponsorship spots available, real-time marketing has become the darling of marketers.

Real-time marketing is the act of personalizing content to the audience.  In the case of the World Cup, we’re looking specifically at content that has been created real-time as a reaction to the games, not ads that were planned months in advance.

Here is a look at which brands had real-time content that won the hearts of fans, and which brands let their fans down.

Real-Time Marketing MVPs

Brand: Philips Sonicare

Content: Ad in Metro (UK)

Real-time marketing Philips World Cup

Reference: Luis Suarez (Uruguay) biting opponent Giorgio Chiellini (Italy) during game.


Brand: Snickers

Content: Tweeted image of Snickers bar.

Snickers real-time marketing World Cup

Reference: Luis Suarez biting Giorgio Chiellini.

Brand: Google

Content: Tweets of images representing Google Trends that reflect what is happening in the games.

Google trends real-time marketing world cup

Reference: Costa Rica moving up through the rankings throughout the World Cup games.

Real-Time Marketing Flops

Brand: Dutch Airline KLM

ContentReal-time marketing World Cup KLM

Reference: The Netherlands beat Mexico 2-1.  The tweet above left Mexico fans feeling like the airline rubbed their face in the loss.  Plus, the image of the man wearing a sombrero and mustache touched on an ethnic stereotype, raising lots of eyebrows. As an international airline (which means customers live around the world, INCLUDING MEXICO), this wasn’t very well thought out.

However, the fast counter-tweet by AeroMexico expressing pride in the team and welcoming them home, WAS a great example of real-time marketing.

real-time marketing twitter world cup Aeromexico

Real-Time Marketing Lessons Learned

If we take a look at which content was well received, and which was booed off the field, we see some trends.  Here is what we learned from the winners and loser:

Good sportsmanship wins – The content that people didn’t appreciate was content that mocked others, or was otherwise seen as bad sportsmanship. When your team wins, celebrate; but don’t be a poor winner by rubbing it in.

Focus on the wow moments – The bite heard ’round the world was the focus of plenty of real-time marketing because it left people talking.  Good real-time marketing joins the conversation surrounding the wow moments of a shared experience.

Be aware of legal restrictionsDigiday had a great post on the possible legal backlash of jumping on the World Cup bandwagon.  Make sure you stay within legal boundaries or you could be facing a cease and desist.

Marketers – we’d love to hear your favorite real-time marketing examples from the World Cup in the comments below.

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