Brazil 2014 World Cup: Companies Doing Everything Possible To Stay In the Game


With everyone still in high spirits after the kick-off ceremony of the Brazil 2014  world cup, advertisers are still on top of their game making sure they get the best of the world cup season for their products and services.

Efforts have been made by Nigerian brands to optimize the potential of this quadrennial event in rebranding and repositioning their products while increasing sales. In anticipation of the world cup, companies have engaged in aggressive promotions via several advertising platforms, especially outdoor advertising. Major city highways are bombarded with billboard advertisements encouraging the Super Eagles team as well as BRT bus transit ads.

A major advertising trend this season is the endorsement of celebrities, especially members of the Super Eagles team, as is expected due to the world cup celebration. Celebrity endorsements have been known to boost brand loyalty and encourage consumers to purchase a particular product. Advertisers leverage on the fame and influence of these people with the hope that it rubs off on their products and services. So consumers have the stream of thought that if their favourite celebrity uses a particular product, purchasing that same product associates them with fame and influence also.

In view of this, several companies signed endorsement deals with key players of the Super Eagles team with the primary aim of associating their brand with excellence as portrayed by the team. It is, however, worthy to note here that Stephen Keshi, the coach of the Nigerian Super Eagles, stole the spotlight in most of these ads.

Priding itself as the official milk of the Super Eagles with Stephen Keshi being their brand ambassador for this season, the Peak milk campaign communicates a message that drinking Peak Milk gives one the necessary nutritional value needed to be as strong, agile and energetic as the Super Eagles. However, it is quite difficult to ignore the fact that Kanu Nwankwo, who has been the brand’s ambassador for so many years, has been replaced by Keshi.

The question now is, what inspired the selection of Stephen Keshi as this year’s ambassador?  The reason could be attributed to the fact that the feat achieved by the Super Eagles during the African Champions League, emerging the winner, was done under the leadership of Stephen Keshi. Although this claim is not substantiated, it could be one of the reasons.

Following this trend is Pepsi who endorsed Stephen Keshi, Daniel Amokachi, Elderson Echiejile, Victor Moses, Osaze Odemwingie as brand ambassadors. Being one of the world’s biggest cola brands, Pepsi aims to associate its brand with high quality global events such as the FIFA world cup, thereby communicating a message that Pepsi consumers are people of class, high standards and style. The use of Super Eagles as ambassadors identifies the brand with excellence and high achievements as exemplified by these ambassadors.

One of the Sponsors of the FIFA world cup, Coca-Cola’s “sharing happiness” campaign, scheduled to run from March-July 2014, has been described as a way of inviting consumers to participate and celebrate with the fans worldwide as they experience the Brazil 2014 World Cup. According to Bolajoko Bayo-Ajayi, Marketing Manager for Coca-Cola Nigeria, Coca-Cola is the ideal brand to connect consumers with the best global soccer entertainment.

“As a FIFA partner, Coca-Cola, the worlds happiest and most inclusive brand, gives consumers the opportunity to witness the World Cup. Coca-Cola has always been a fan of football, both internationally and here in Nigeria; we have been refreshing Nigerians and this is another platform to do what we do best,” she said.

Coca-Cola has always been the No 1. Choice of consumers for Cola beverages, therefore this year’s world cup poses an opportunity to deepen that level of relationship with consumers and maintain brand loyalty and credibility.

Finally, Star Larger beer also ran an ad campaign encouraging Nigerians to show their support for the Super Eagles team. Jay-Jay Okocha was endorsed as the brand’s ambassador for the world cup season. In doing so, Star establishes itself as a consumer brand at the forefront of the cheer-leading team for Super Eagles. The Ad campaign features Nigerians and Jay-Jay putting on the Super Eagles Jersey, corroborating their support for the Nation’s ambassadors. It will be recalled that Star Shine on clinched the Grand Poster Award for the Most Innovative brand during the 8th Poster and Exhibition Award ceremony of Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN).

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Guiness extra stout also prides itself as the official drink of the Super Eagles, with the aim of achieving the same results as other aforementioned brands.

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Amidst all these advertising campaign efforts, one common element comes to fore; most of the companies that engaged in aggressive advertising this season are multinational organizations. All four brands highlighted in this post are multinationals. This poses the question, why are local Nigerian brands lagging behind in advertising this season?

Let us know your thoughts below.