5 Marketing & Media Lessons to be learned from the 2010 Fifa World Cup

Lesson #1: Your audience is ever more demanding!


While watching the first football game of the World Cup:

- my father in Law: Damn this transmission has degraded, before they used to show the name of the player who has the ball and info about him, zoom into the player’s faces more when they replay, replay the goals better…

- my brother in law: Dad, this is on Playstation 2, not in ‘the real’  Fifa

Yes, we are getting more spoiled with new multimedia technologies, traditional media have to provide more information rich data, better interactivity options and more sharing opportunities. In short we want to be better informed and more involved and we expect you to do something about it!

Lesson #2: The Stakeholders Expect You to React FAST!

A day into world cup and everyone is complaining about these darn Vuvuzela’s. Three days into the world Cup and Germany filters out Vuvuzela noises to spare the fans. A couple days more Britain Joins and people start petitioning for banning the Vuvuzela( with over 300,000 fans on facebook and counting) . Add a couple of days and an app that adds vuvuzela noises to sites that filter them is created following the de-vuvuzelaing applets!

Needless to say, your clients will expect the same response rates from you!

Lesson #3: Do not forget about unexploited niches

For instant, women  have to suffer while their prince charming enjoys row after row of football matches day in day out for a whooole month.   So while everyone is gold mining the idea of the big flat screens to display the World Cup, why don’t you capitalize on the opposite – making your place a haven for football haters?

This Le Mall ad may be an attempt at just what I’m talking about, but I hate the fact that it belittles women. As a woman  I would not identify with it and will consider it an attempt to trick me into going to Le Mall and being stuck watching football, rather than showing me a clear exit path  – The “learn about football so people do not make fun of you” message VERSUS  the ” while he is watching football break loose and shop” message I would like to hear.

So you see, there is a real propitious niche there, that your competitors are not exploring. And let us not forget about children, where do people with children leave kids to go watch the games? You say grandparents, I say create a replacement product…There are a millions of ideas and campaigns buried in unrealized consumer demand in your market too-  Be creative, we’re expecting no less!

My personal favorites in this regard is the above Macy Gray video clip and this great post by Maya Zankoul.

Lesson #4: Shamelessly exploit trends?

I am not even gonna go into the myriad of brilliant and so and so ads, campaigns and offers linked to the world cup. Yes it is a good tactic. Yes, it will help you not stay behind, but if you truely wanna innovate, go back to point 3.

Lesson #5: We are watching You, and we have everything ON RECORD!

One of the first big time fxxx-ups in this world cup was the British Goalkeeper giving a slip to the ball, right after catching it. Man, it was a media circus at my in-law’s house. With the whole family lividly replaying his walk of shame and lively commenting how his career is over. And all of this replicated across millions of households in reaction to a slip of a man who by default can not catch all the balls shot at him. So Imagine what your Stakeholders will do if YOU slip up!

Have you learned any new marketing lessons from the world cup, let me know!?

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  1. Danielle’s avatar

    Darine, let me be the first to say what a brilliant post! You truly are an analytical thinker and a marketing genius. Thank you for outlining the most important lessons that can be learned from this World Cup. While the market place may be saturated and more competitive more than ever before, you have made it quite clear that there are opportunities for us to challenge ourselves creatively, to tap into previously unexplored concepts, and to make not only events such as the World Cup a more enjoyable time for us all, but to also make money while doing it!

    I especially like the concept of targeting women during the World Cup..for example a company/business could have had a promotion running whereby female shoppers would get discounts during certain “game time” hours..I think that would have gone over well!

    Keep them coming!


  2. Sareen Akharjalian’s avatar

    Great points! Lesson Number 2 is so true as well as Lesson 5. I kinda feel sorry for the guy. He’s become a laughing stock. Can you imaging the entire world making fun of you?!


  3. Saad Al Dosari’s avatar

    This is a great post Darine.

    And World Cup is indeed becoming a smashing success that should be really studies and learned from.

    Although I am a big fan of the game, like most of princes of charm I guess (:)), I loved your lesson # 3. For one thing, the idea just stands out in the face of the main stream that apparently assumes that everybody is World Cup fanatics.

    Moreover, whether we like World Cup or not, for marketers is a lesson in successful branding. Maybe football has its own appeal that made it the first preferred game in the world. But it could still be argued that FIFA has also played a major role in creating brands out of it. I am talking about players names, regional leagues, and World Cup itself which is, arguably, the FIFA’s cash cow.



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