Think before you shoot with World Cup branding

By Laurence Gibbons contact

- Last updated on GMT

Food firms have been warned to think before they shoot ahead with World Cup branding
Food firms have been warned to think before they shoot ahead with World Cup branding
Food and drink manufacturers should think before they shoot before rushing to jump on the World Cup bandwagon or they might risk scoring an own-goal, warns MMR Research Worldwide (MMR).

More people are weary of food and drink brands rebranding their packaging with football-themed imagery than those who claim to have seen World Cup packaging, according to research by MMR.

A quarter of people polled thought World Cup promotions on packaging helped the excitement to build, and 18% said they would be more likely to choose a product if it showed a World Cup promotion. But, over half are disparaging of brands getting involved in World Cup promotions.

Mat Lintern, global md of MMR Research Worldwide, said food and drink businesses should take a long-term view to promotions.

World Cup promotion fatigue

“Food and drink manufacturers need to tread carefully in view of consumers’ World Cup promotion fatigue,”​ he added. “Please don’t make random associations just to jump on the bandwagon; the fit has to be just right to cut through the competition.

“Promotions’ true impact should be not focused solely on the immediate returns in terms of hard and fast sales but also take into consideration the impact on longer-term brand equity and consumer loyalty.”

In the survey, carried out in the last week of May, just over a quarter of people were open to trying Brazilian influenced foods as well as limited edition products launched by companies for the World Cup.

Women in particular, claimed they were more open to trying Brazilian cuisine.

About a fifth surveyed thought some of the limited edition products in the UK – such as Lucozade The Brazilian, Lucozade Sport Brazilian Guava and Pot Noodle Brazilian BBQ Steak – were “very Brazilian”​. This rose to nearly a third amongst 16-34 year olds.

Official World Cup sponsors Budweiser and Coca-Cola have both launched football-themed packaging. Budweiser launched a golden bottle with the image of the World Cup trophy on it and Coca-Cola printed footballs and famous Brazilian landmarks – such as the statue of Christ the Redeemer – onto its cans and bottles.

Re-branded their products

Meanwhile, Mars, Pringles and Carlsberg have all re-branded their products with a football-theme.

Of those surveyed, 65% knew Coca-Cola was sponsoring the tournament and 39% were aware of Budweiser’s endorsement of the World Cup.

People wrongly believed that Lucozade (37%) and Mars (35%) were sponsors of the tournament.

Brand owners that are involved in football in other ways, for example by sponsoring players, are still benefitting from heightened awareness around the World Cup, Lintern added.

The biggest tournament in football kicks off today (June 12) when Croatia takes on host Brazil in Sao Paulo tonight.

95% of people quizzed by MMR said they would be watching games in the comfort of their own homes – providing plenty of opportunity for snacking.

This compares with 33% that will watch at a pub or bar, 25% that will watch at a friend’s house, and 9% that watch at work.

The younger generation, particularly 16 to 34 year-olds are more likely to watch games in a pub or bar or at a friend’s house, MMR claimed.

“Watching matches on terrestrial television from the comfort of their sofa in the living room remains by far the most popular way football fans will enjoy the World Cup,”​ Lintern added.

Meanwhile, the World Cup is set to kick off a £271M boost​ to the UK’s food and drink industry.

Can the beautiful game benefit your business?


Have you re-branded your product for the World Cup?

  • No: I am worried applying World Cup branding to my product might score an own-goal

  • Yes: Football-themed branding is bound to score big for my company this summer

  • Not sure: after all, it’s only a game!


Related topics: Confectionery, Drinks

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