World Cup 2018: Battle of the Brands

22nd June 2018

One of the world’s biggest sporting events is back on our screens, and with it comes a host of marketing campaigns from brands, big and small, all looking to compete for the attention of consumers and sports fans alike.

This year, the FIFA World Cup tournament, which takes place every 4 years, is expected to bring in an extra £40m into the UK economy – this figure takes into account money spent by advertisers and reductions from advertisers looking to avoid the competitive period.

Typically, 3.5 billion people from 200 countries worldwide tune in to watch the event, making it the ideal opportunity to expose your brand – that’s if you’re ready to fight off some tough competition from the likes of Coca-Cola.

We’ve rounded up our favourite to give you some inspiration: 

Uber Eats & McDonald’s  

McDonald’s and Uber Eats have enlisted the help of Andrea Pirlo, former Italian professional footballer, to help them promote their exclusive McDelivery service.

Pirlo, who helped Italy win the World Cup back in 2006, stars in a light-hearted TV advert, which highlights the fact that Italy has not qualified for this year’s tournament.


Since 1950, Coca-Cola has sponsored almost every World Cup, and this year is no different, with the drinks giant releasing a trio of adverts to celebrate the worldwide footballing event.

The first video encourages fans to “stock up” their supply of Coke in time for the matches. The second advert, which is titled “Ready for”, features bottles of Coke being given a pep talk in a factory in the run-up to the games. Finally, the third, “Uplifted Alex”, features a virtual player and fan talking in the players’ tunnel.

Coca-Cola is set to release a 4th advert during the World Cup, so we look forward to seeing this on our screens!


England football stars Eric Dier, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Terry Butcher star in a Gogglebox-style advert that shows them watching 3 memorable football matches, on a new LG OLED AI TV.

The video is one of many in LG’s “Live the game” Campaign.


AB InBev have really stepped up their game this year, with a short epic film featuring a fleet of drones delivering Budweiser beer across the world. 

They’re not stopping there - the drinks brand’s “Light up the world cup” campaign also includes The Bud Bot, which is a chatbot that allows fans to vote for the official man of the match and get Budweiser delivered to their homes.


As part of the campaign, Budweiser are also hosting a Bud Boat screening parties on the river Thames, distributing eight million Budweiser sound activated glowing cups, a sound activated Snapchat lens AND they’re even promising free beer if England wins the World Cup! Did you get all that? 

Paddy Power

Betting brand Paddy Power are promising to donate £10,000 to LGBT charities, for every goal scored by Russia, in its ‘Rainbow Russia’ campaign.

The campaign, which is designed to highlight and challenge Russia’s anti-LGBTQ policies, is being backed by LGBT advocates like Caitlyn Jenner and Gareth Thomas.


Paddy Power have pledged to spend a minimum of £50,000, regardless of whether Russia scores 5 goals or not.

Auto Trader 

The UK-based online automotive brand, Auto Trader, is giving away a free car to one lucky fan, every time England scores in the World Cup.

“We wanted to bring to life the excitement of a brand-new car as it’s such a unique feeling. The cynics may not be optimistic about England’s chances but we’re genuinely hopeful for lots of goals and therefore plenty of new car winners,” says audience and brand director at Auto Trader, Lei Sorvisto.


Auto Trader is promoting the campaign on social media, radio and other marketing material, as well as through a UNILAD partnership.


Tesco’s exclusive F&F clothes brand has teamed up with the charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) to promote their #MarkYourMan campaign, which focuses on mental male health during the World Cup.

A video, which stars comedians Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan, has been released as part of the campaign. The video encourages men to support each other through good and bad times, like they would a football team. It will run alongside other material in store and on social media.

Make your brand stand out all year round, get in touch with us about how we can improve your online presence and give your brand a digital boost.

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1st January 2018
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