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Brand activations for the Russia World Cup 2018: Technology, stereotyping, experiences & more

Tuesday July 17, 2018 at 1:37pm

Alex Lawrence, Copy & Content Executive, IPM 

Unfortunately we didn’t make the final but the England team had a great run and made it much further than we could have imagined. Despite the disappointing result, the last few weeks of football fever and national pride have been a whirlwind of excitement.

Making the most of this World Cup hype, brands from all over the world have been pushing out countless activations to attract football fans. The problem is, many brands have been taking very ​tried and tested routes and relying on stereotypes to inform their campaigns. It becomes a little boring when World Cup activations go no further than trying to reach out to ‘the lads down the pub.'

As I explored in my Pride article, it’s very obvious when brands haven’t put a lot of thought into their activations and are just trying to keep up with whatever’s trending on Twitter. I’d list all the brands guilty of using the “it’s coming home” phrase without any other reference to the World Cup, but I’d be here all day.

As a non-football fan and someone who has felt quite distanced from the World Cup, I was surprised to find that some brands managed to spark my interest despite my lack of association with the sport. These brands are the ones that have put a lot more thought into reaching out to a wider audience than the stereotypical beer-drinking, crisp-eating male fans. Moreover, brands that are not official partners or sponsors of the World Cup have proven to be ​some of the most creative with their campaigns, alluding to the event without being able to use the title "World Cup."

The campaigns that stand out the most to me, someone who is definitely not the usual target audience, are those that avoid the obvious. Below I’ve listed a few key things the best brand activations have in common, as well as a few mistakes some have made.

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» Categories: General, Opinion