This is the story of one of the best-conceived social campaigns ever run. Adidas, makers of the official World Cup Match Ball since 1970, has always incorporated top-flight technology and the host nation’s culture into the tournament football. But until now, they’d never given their product the chance to speak for itself.
Some campaigns come to a slow boil. Adidas Football’s Brazuca campaign took more than two years to come to fruition – but it has been well worth the wait.
It began in 2012 with the ideal Facebook engagement method – a vote, and has become a great, engaging Twitter feed with more than 2.5 million followers (and growing). It’s more popular than both the Adidas and Adidas Football accounts, combined. The Brazuca already had all the publicity a marketing department could want, getting kicked around by the best players in the world in one of the highest-scoring World Cups ever played. Now it’s a living, breathing, polyurethane, social media success story.
More Channels, More Wins
First, Adidas empowered a crowd of over 1 million Brazilians by naming the ball via a Facebook voting drive. 70% of voters chose the name "Brazuca”, which refers to the Brazilian way of life. As the World Cup approached, Adidas engaged fans with the ball in a totally new way.
Channel View Rate, which looks at the difference between Interactions and Pageviews, has grown in the last month with Brazuca's popularity.
On Adidas Football’s Youtube site, a separate tab set up especially for Brazuca videos seems to say, ”This campaign is significant.” It also makes it easy to find all of the Brazuca-related content, including an HD version of the video in which viewers can select a 360* icon that puts them into the ball’s POV. It all goes to making the product relatable – so that when a banner ad directs viewers to purchase the ball, it can say "Buy Me” instead of "Buy It”, and it makes all the difference in the world.
With the start of World Cup competition, @Brazuca experienced explosive follower growth, outpacing their parent company's Twitter profile.
It was Adidas Football’s Twitter campaign, launched in the immediate run-up to the World Cup, that distinguished the ball and its maker – who expect to sell more than 14 million Brazucas, and earn above 2 billion euros overall in the global soccer market this year.
Adidas Football established a voice for the ball that was consistent, confident, and emphasized its products. Here are some of their best tweets:
Half-time. The way I'm playing I still might score. #ballin— brazuca (@brazuca) June 20, 2014
The @brazuca account has done three (and more) things right:
- By cleverly repurposing their World Cup-specific hashtag #allin as #ballin, they evolved the meaning of their brand message, identified their subject (the ball in #ballin), and worked in a nice double-entendre for an American slang term for "cool” (ballin!).
- Involved athletes and celebrities like Pharrell, Zinedine Zidane, and Justin Bieber.
- Posted immediately relevant content by live-tweeting exciting moments in games, such as when Costa Rica and Greece went to extra time and penalty kicks.
Props to Adidas for running an exemplary campaign! It won’t be long before others catch on…here’s looking forward to the tweeting NHL puck we know can’t be far behind.
Marketers can keep in tune with which cup matches, teams, players, and brands are most relevant for their audiences by visiting the Socialbakers Cheermeter.
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