Soccer has become an integral part of describing culture in most of Latin America. We have engaged in memorable moments of emotion. Our passion for soccer unites us and helps us, for a moment, take our mind off the difficult times our countries may be facing. The 2018 FIFA World Cup represents one of the biggest opportunities for brands to stand out in a culturally relevant way and win over consumers. Brands are leveraging our soccer spirit to maximize their visibility. For our region, the opportunity is even greater as our countries account for the largest number of viewers of the tournament, according to a Global Web Index survey.

These are some of the top marketing trends we’re seeing:

Pre-World Cup Excitement
Global brands and soccer team sponsors began generating excitement for the World Cup earlier this year. These brands designed engaging campaigns that have captured people’s attention through creative storytelling across experiential and digital channels. Beer companies in Mexico and Colombia are examples of brands successfully connecting with soccer fans in anticipation of the tournament.

Some countries did not make the 32-team cut-off, but that is not preventing brands from targeting them. Here, brands are promoting the quality time spent watching the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Chilean consumer electronic brands are positioning their most innovative products as the best devices to view matches. Cable operators like DirecTV are offering an enhanced live experience through high-quality, exclusive content and multi-screen technology.

The Mobile World Cup
Soccer fans have been using technology and social platforms at an increasing pace, consuming content on-the-go. It’s no wonder that 98% of sports marketers emphasize social media when leveraging sponsorships, according to a recent survey quoted by Forbes.

A shift towards a mobile-first approach for marketing strategies is becoming more important as there is significant growth in mobile usage (73% of total internet consumption). Last year, digital consumers of the World Cup spent double the time on their mobile phones as compared to computers. According to ComScore, Argentina had the largest number of mobile minutes per user in the region, followed by Mexico and Brazil.

Established brands will take advantage of this “mobile momentum” by developing mobile-friendly content and mobile app targeting strategies. This will translate into an always-on approach, with goals of increasing their presence and reaching target audiences.

Broadcast TV’s Reinvention
Facing fierce competition for consumers’ attention, the broadcast industry is continuously reinventing itself. They aim to offer consumers higher-quality content while giving brands added value opportunities and spaces to reach consumers as effectively as they would through digital platforms.

For this World Cup, FIFA announced that it will produce its matches in ultra-high definition (UHD) with high dynamic range (HDR) for the first time. This allows consumers to follow matches in virtual reality, both live and as 360 video-on-demand. Broadcast companies and cable operators are taking advantage of these technologies by offering viewers more access and improving TV quality. This will benefit World Cup broadcasters by capturing more advertising dollars.

The broadcast world has remained relevant among younger audiences by leveraging the power of social. A proof point is Twitter announcing its partnership with twenty-four publishers and broadcasters across twelve countries. This World Cup enhances the consumer soccer experience through high quality, behind-the-scenes content that brings us the best of live sports.

Exceptional Soccer
The 2018 FIFA World Cup brings soccer fans closer to their favorite sport, players, and brands. Fans are able to enjoy exceptional experiences regardless of location.

WPP recently released the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2018 ranking. A key finding therein reveals companies that invest in intelligence-led marketing gain a better understanding of their consumers. These companies are the winners in today’s world of innovation, disruption and change – it will be no different during the World Cup.

The Power of Consumers
Leading brands understand the power of user generated content (UGC). This more-organic source for marketable material can be achieved through engaging the public in experiences that excite them.

In the context of the largest sports event in the globe, brand affinity is aided by insight-driven strategies and an in-depth knowledge of what consumers want and expect. This allows brands to leverage creative ideas to deliver authentic content that will build upon a consumer’s brand loyalty.

By: Claudia Gioia | H+K Latin America and Caribbean | President & CEO

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