Nearly two weeks have passed since Germany edged out against Argentina to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and as the dust settles, we are beginning to see how social media impacted the world’s most popular soccer game. A record 618,725 tweets per minute were sent when Germany scored its last minute goal during extra time, and many estimate that the 2014 World Cup will be the most tweeted about event in Twitter’s history.
Throughout the tournament, corporate marketing campaigns attempted to grab a bit of attention amongst the clamor to propel their own brands forward, and there were a few good lessons to be found in those tweets. Some had it down to a re-tweeting science, others… not so much.
The best of the best.
Hyundai may have a tenuous connection to soccer, but they still showed us how a good campaign can seamlessly link a company and a trending event. According to HootSuite, their campaign’s hashtag #BecauseFutbol was the most positively received of any corporate campaign. Hyundai even took it a step further and created a Tumblr account to further the impact of ‘Because Futbol.’ Best of all, if you look through Hyundai’s feed, you’ll see them reaching out to influencers thanking them for their #BecauseFutbol posts. The graphics were sharp, the campaign wasn’t forced, and the company was grateful. What more could you ask for?
Some analysts didn’t like this tweet, but I thought it was funny, simple, and effective. Twitter is built on the visceral and the quick and this tweet exemplifies that philosophy. It’s an American beer, crushing Belgian waffles, with the beer’s branding at the center of the photo. Sometimes social media marketers overthink the composition of their tweets and the use of their branding. Coors was making the same joke everyone else was, but they were willing to have a bit of fun with their brand and product, and the simplicity of the picture and tweet came through.
One of the coolest parts about Twitter is its responsiveness to real time events. When Uruguay’s Luis Suarez bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, Twitter exploded with all sorts of bite-related jokes and comments. Most branded pages attempted to horn in on the moment as well, and if you wanted to you could trudge through hundreds of different variations of ‘Don’t bite Chiellini, bite into our (food/candy/soda)’ product pushing tweets. MLB’s page didn’t overdo it or try and make an obvious pass to a product, and because of that their tweet stood out amongst the rest.
You can’t argue with numbers. Adidas was, by a huge margin, the winner of World Cup, at least as far as branded tweeting goes. They were the most talked about brand related to the World Cup, generating 1.59 million conversations. Part of that was because they advertised heavily during the tournament, but their #allin campaign was a huge success because it was so authentic. Watch the #allin videos, or scroll through the pictures, and it’s obvious that whoever was running this campaign really loved soccer.- and it’s that kind of authenticity that ensures the success of social campaigns.
And because you can’t have winners without losers, the worst.
One of the most confusing parts of the World Cup was the closing ceremony. I remember a few people wondering why flight attendants were handing out trophies and hanging out in the background. Emirates, one of the world’s largest airlines, has a history of shelling out millions to be at the forefront of sporting events, and the World Cup was no different. Still, during a World Cup mired by allegations of corruption and over-commercialization, this definitely soured the closing ceremonies, and was a shining example of how branded tweets can feel a bit dirty.
The Uruguay biting incident happened at the end of June. June! Why would you make a vampire pun? It isn’t time to break out the Halloween catalogue just yet, JCPenney. Compare this tweet to MLB’s, and you can see what I mean about hit and miss responses to real time events. Major League Baseball’s tweet was, at the very least, related to baseball. This was just an obvious attempt to grab onto a trending tag, and it fizzled. Brands, take heed – if you don’t have anything clever or interesting to tweet, don’t tweet anything at all.
What do the Video Music Awards have to do with soccer? Nothing. But MTV shoehorned the VMAs into the sport by trying to use the substantial buzz surrounding the World Cup to promote its own award show. Responses fell flat, and it was painfully obvious what they were trying to do. Hyundai, as I mentioned earlier, doesn’t have much to do with soccer either, but they didn’t try and force a connection. When you do, this happens, and the whole thing just feels weird.
Delta Airlines get the uncoveted final spot on my hall of shame for making one of the earliest, and arguably biggest, gaffs during the World Cup. While trying to congratulate the USA for defeating Ghana, they used an image to represent each country. The USA got the Statue of Liberty, Ghana got a giraffe. There are no giraffes in Ghana. People were quick to pounce on the inaccuracy, which just shows you how dangerous real time marketing can be. By all means, be quick, but don’t sacrifice accuracy for speed, especially when you’re choosing something like a picture to represent an entire nation.