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How brands have capitalized on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

One of the biggest global sporting events, the 2022 World Cup came with its own set of awards and challenges. Due to the geographical context of Qatar, Fifa decided to hold it in the winter, which forced brands to adapt.

What were the challenges for brands:

Summer communication couldn’t be summer anymore: traditionally, brands associated with this event through summer consumer occasions, in large groups, and on the energy around them. This year, they’ve had to rethink their approaches and find a place in people’s homes and across digital.

Winter holidays: as much as you’d like, December is for the global audience the month of Christmas and time spent with loved ones, which has resulted in a clutter of posts in a short period. Brands have had to calculate a tighter opportunity cost and choose or streamline their communication calendars to make sure they don’t miss any.

Controversy: holding the World Cup in Qatar was a deeply controversial decision in ways that no brand would want to go near. Or almost no brand.

The 2022 World Cup and the figures that attracted brands’ interest

5bn – the number of people who will watch at least part of the World Cup, according to Fifa estimates

Football is in the top 3 most popular sports in 10 out of 13 major markets globally.

95% awareness rate – highest among people watching sports events.

59% of football fans would choose a sponsor’s product over a competitor.

● Football, a multi-channel watched sport

○ 80% of fans use Social Media during matches
○ 81% watch matches on public TV channels
○ 72% use digital apps for WC matches
○ 68% use OTT (over-the-top) streaming devices
○ 62% pay to watch matches

Source: Nielsen


Brand investment in the Qatar 2022 World Cup

Source: Raconteur

What brands did at the Qatar 2022 World Cup

Brewdog: The World F*Cup

UK beer brand, Brewdog decided to become the Anti-World Cup Sponsor: it created a written manifesto, heavily supported in Social Media and an OOH campaign directly attacking the controversy surrounding the decision to hold the event in Qatar, mostly political in nature.
What they did extra: all profits generated from the SKU, their The Lost Lager, will be donated to various causes fighting for human rights and against abuses.

Rom Autentic: National Arbitration

This year, Rom launched the Proteic SKU, their SKU that’s all about #energyauthenticity. The link they made with the communication opportunity comes from an insight exactly as they should be, a real AHA moment: although the national football team didn’t qualify, we have a team of referees representing our country. A team at the world championship needs as much encouragement and energy as the players.

The campaign was launched around the December 1st holiday to capitalize on the nationalist backdrop in the form of a digital spot and social media executions, both content and activations.

Luis Vuitton X Messi X Ronaldo

Posted on 19 November, at the start of the World Cup, this contextual took the internet by storm. A simple photoshoot that perfectly introduces the brand to the atmosphere of the event’s high stakes, it generated over 8 million likes on Instagram, well above the page average. Luis Vuitton took it a step further in amplification and with a video behind the scenes.

If the number of likes didn’t convince you it was a success, the fact that it became an internet meme will surely do so.

Whatever happens, it’s the creativity that counts

Brands have been able to demonstrate that, more often than not, the limitations provided by context should not discourage their efforts, but motivate them to find new angles through which to communicate in a relevant way with their consumers!