THE GROUND UP #3 (World Cup)


Welcome to a special World Cup edition of The GROUND Up. With the action only hours away from kick-off, we will be pulling out our favourite campaigns and taking a look at the world of social through a football lens that’s as pin point as a pass from Mesut Özil.

Sports GROUND:  World Cup 2018 | Battle of the brands
There is nothing like a World Cup (well... maybe with the exception of the Olympics) to really see brands flex their creative muscles as they battle for eyeballs around theworld. It’s official tournament sponsors vs guerrilla campaigns and global rollouts vs local insights. If the football doesn’t get you, the ads certainly will. Here are some of our favourites: 

  • It’s the brand version of ‘El Classico’ as Adidas take on Nike. Adidas as theofficial sponsor believes ‘creativity is the answer’, with a staggering 56 ‘A-list’ creatives from around the world featuring in their film. Nike on the other hand, have utilised their sponsorship of everyone’s second favourite team, Brazil, and have nailed the emotion and nostalgia of the beautiful game with nods to their classic World Cup ads. 
  • Beats by Dre – Made Defiant: The tournament kings of ambush marketing, Beats have done it again. A mixtape, directed by Guy Ritchie and of course Thierry Henry. It’s a Va Va Voom from us. 
  • BBC – World Cup Launch: Ah the detail. Good at first glance. Better at second.
  • Powerade – That’s Some Kind of PowerTargeted towards the US audience, this campaign leans into film buffs as well as football fans. 
  • Visa – Viza (Zlatan): It just wouldn’t be a world cup without Zlatan. 
  • Paddy Power – Polar Bear: The masters of tournament mischief do it again. 
  • Budweiser – Drone: Great example of how to actually do an engaging global ad. 

GROUNDbreaking:  UNICEF kicking world goals
UNICEF held their annual SoccerAID charity match just days ago which ended in a 3-3 draw before England took out a win in penalty shootouts over the World XI. Thematch raised over £5.5 million but this wasn’t the only goal that UNICEF have kicked as of late, they’ve also been focusing on new innovations through a website called, The Hope Page. This page uses your computer's processing power when you're asleep to mine cryptocurrency which can then be sold to generate funding for refugees.
Home GROUND:  Facebook - the player to watch
173,000 people went to last year’s Intel Extreme Masters World Championship that will be 92,000 more than the World Cup final in Moscow, so it was just a matter of time before Facebook threw their hat into the gaming arena. The launch of Facebook’s new gaming platform is the social network giant’s first real move to competing with Twitch for live gaming ownership. will allow users to follow gamers, watch live games in a central section and earn virtual currency. One to watch.

PlayGROUND:  Scouting for the next Messi or Ronaldo
Got what it takes and just hoping for Messrs Guardiola and Mourinho to swing by as you bend the ball in the top corner, then wait no more. Introducing ‘CleatChaser’ a new app, that allows athletes to upload a picture, videos, updates, stats and personal attributes in order to build following for themselves in the hope that they will attract fans and in turn scouts.

GROUND Work:  We’re in The Haus
Ok, so this isn’t football related, but last month we celebrated the launch of our agency group, The Haus. We’re chuffed to be part of a such an awesome collective of specialist service agencies and through the shared in-house expertise we can create a winning team (yes got in a football analogy) for any client. If you would like to find out more on how this model can help your business then don’t hesitate to hit us up. 

Colin Fairley