Got those post-summer holiday blues? Well, if you are a footie fan here’s something to cheer you up; the FIFA World Cup kicks off in just over 11 weeks. If you’ve had enough of the so-called beautiful game already, Christmas isn’t too far away instead…
But for all those licking their lips in anticipation of November 20th’s opening game – the “cracker” of Qatar vs Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium – the event’s sponsors are already gearing up to ensure the hundreds of millions of dollars they have shelled out are not going to waste.
Or, as Coca-Cola puts it: “As football fans prepare for the kick-off in November, Coca-Cola is celebrating the journey of each fan through the real magic of the FIFA World Cup.
“Our hero digital film brings fan excitement to life. A passionate football fan imagines their team winning the FIFA World Cup as their street transforms into a celebration. As they sip an ice-cold Coca-Cola, their team’s match begins.”
And that, dear readers, is about it. Not a football in sight, just a bottle of Coke, a load of ticker-tape and a mocked up street party.
However, Coca-Cola has also released three separate digital films – Tattoo, Shave, and Run – designed to embody football fans’ promises and devotion to their teams.
In these films, football fans commit to getting a tattoo, shaving their head and running to work every day if their team takes home the World Cup. Interestingly, all the characters in the film have a distinctly American – and South American – feel to them…No Three Lions here.
Once the World Cup kicks off, Coca-Cola says it will debut new digital films that highlight fan superstitions; new packaging will also highlight team colours and shared promises.
The Coca-Cola Company has had a relationship with FIFA since 1974 and has been an official sponsor of the World Cup since 1978 and has advertised at every FIFA World Cup stadium since 1950.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, FIFA’s chief business officer, Romy Gai, is keen to big up one of its long-term sponsors: “As a valued and long-standing FIFA partner, Coca-Cola plays a vital role in enhancing the FIFA World Cup fan experience worldwide and driving our ultimate vision of making football truly global.
“Our friends at Coca-Cola have provided extraordinary support for FIFA and the FIFA World Cup over many years, and we applaud their latest creative efforts to inspire and engage fans across the planet in a unique festival of football.”
Coca-Cola’s vice president of global sports & entertainment marketing Brad Ross is equally gushing. He said: “The Coca-Cola FIFA World Cup 2022 campaign, Believing is Magic, celebrates and enhances authentic and simple moments of connection for football fans. A global community of fans will come together to cheer, pass down rituals and join in the belief that this will be the year their team is crowned winners of the FIFA World Cup.”
So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?
Well, with Coca-Cola providing “extraordinary support for FIFA and the FIFA World Cup over many years”, you have to ask yourself what are the makers of sickly gloop doing about the appalling human rights record of the host nation, where same sex relationships are actually illegal? Or doesn’t that matter so long as it can get its message across that “Believing is Magic”?
Then there is the not inconsiderable matter of how the stadiums have been built, with widespread accusations that the contractors have used forced labour. By 2021, 6,500 World Cup migrant workers had already died since building started in 2010; a further 4,000 workers may die due to lax safety and other causes by the time the competition is held.
Well, luckily, “a global community of fans will come together to cheer, pass down rituals and join in the belief that this will be the year their team is crowned winners”.
Of course, some may claim this isn’t Coca-Cola’s issue but if this was a homophobic, slave owning individual, no-one would touch them with a bargepole.
Also, who the hell drinks Coke when they are watching footie anyway?
Decision Marketing Adometer: A ‘not so magic’ 4 out of 10 for the ads; 0 out of 10 for the silence