World Cup digital marketing Orfi Media

How the World Cup scored big for brands


Have we just witnessed the first social World Cup?

One thing is for sure, brands filled their boots with the opportunities the competition gave them. Here’s how…

Both the players themselves and the brands that utilise their success have never before been able to interact with the public to the extent we saw over the last few weeks.

The use of memes and other creative content has been off the scale – and that has helped fans to form a more personal link to an England squad that wasn’t just successful in the tournament, but actually proved itself, well, likeable! Who’d have thought it?

Just look at Harry Maguire’s tweeted picture of him talking to his girlfriend after the Sweden game.

Were England football players always this funny?

And the great thing about social media is what happened next – teammates and other internet jokers joining in the fun.

Nothing has been latched onto more than the old Baddiel and Skinner classic Three Lions. The whole country was in on the secret: football was coming home. Proof? There were 325k uses of #ItsComingHome and #FootballsComingHome around the Sweden game on Twitter.

The sheer reach of social media during the World is outstanding. Statistics from Socialbakers calculate that France won the social World Cup, whose team clocked up nearly 10million interactions across Twitter and Facebook during the competition. Portugal and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo reached 11million people on his own.

All of this leads to one conclusion – the World Cup was massive business for brands and their marketing departments.

Retailers like Aldi and Three have been using Three Lions – which returned to the top of the charts 22 years after its initial release – in ads.

Aldi drew plaudits for their announcement that “football’s coming home and so are we”, highlighting that they were closing stores early so that staff could watch the final, although England ruined their chances of an early finish by losing in the semi-final. Nice gesture nevertheless!

Marks & Spencer were another big winner, with England manager Gareth Southgate becoming an unlikely style icon during the tournament for his dashing waistcoats.

The clever people at Marks and Sparks saw an opportunity, being the official tailor to the England team, and created #luckywaitcoat campaign –putting a banner outside Wembley anddeclaring a ‘national waistcoat day’ after England’s quarter-final win against Sweden.

The result? A 35% rise in waistcoat sales.

We’ve talked before in this blog about the power of sport to turbo-boost digital marketing. The 2018 World Cup provided the proof.

Did you see any creative ways in which businesses were on the ball in using the World Cup as a marketing strategy? Let us know at hello@orfimedia.com.

Elise Milburn

Social Media Intern at Orfi Media. Content creator day in day out!