As the 2014 World Cup Games rage on in Brazil, big businesses are competing in their own games: which brand can produce the best, most viral advertisement? Gaining people’s attention can be the most difficult advertising challenge, regardless of your company’s size. However, these four brands certainly grabbed our attention, for better or for worse. Here are the four best and worst World Cup advertisements and the lessons you can learn from them in order to better market your business.
Lesson learned: Get your fans involved.
In its “GOL!” video, McDonald’s took the fun route to get people excited for the upcoming World Cup games. With its video reaching over five million views, McDonald’s proved that creating a brand community is the best way to gain positive attention. Whether you are a big brand or a small startup, your fans are still the best way to advertise your business. Think about it: why do you think most businesses add customer reviews to their sites? It’s because people trust other people more than they trust ads.
Therefore, turn your audience into brand advocates by getting them involved in your business, whether it’s engaging them in conversation on social media or rewarding their loyalty. Your business depends on your audience’s good will. Therefore, center your marketing strategy around creating a community with your audience to keep them happy and satisfied with your brand.
ESPN’s “Time Zone”
Lesson learned: Promote passion, not yourself.
The trick to this ad is that it didn’t feel like one. The video wasn’t a two minute tribute to how you should watch the games on ESPN. Rather, it showcased people using the channel to watch something they love. See the difference? Your ads shouldn’t be telling people that they should be using your brand, just because you say so. In all likelihood, you are not the only business selling the product or service.
A more effective route is to create an ad that shows the value of your product or service. Distinguish yourself from your competition by showing customers using your product and connecting with your brand. People don’t buy products. They buy the culture associated with those products. Therefore, people will be more likely to remember you if you show them something worth their time and money.
Beats by Dre’s “The Game before the Game”
Lesson learned: Skip the melodrama and keep it short and sweet.
The first strike against this ad was the dramatic narration in the first minute of the video, with an old man giving an athlete semi-prophetic, clichéd advice on how to play the best game of his life. The second strike is that the entire video lasted five minutes, which is three minutes too long for the average consumer.
Avoid using trite or overused sayings, as they won’t add value to your ad copy or persuade your audience to buy your product. Instead, honesty and sincerity are the keys to valuable content. In addition, if you do decide to create a video ad or blog, make sure to keep the video length under two minutes in order to keep your audience’s attention.
Dutch Airlines and Delta Airlines Tweets
Airlines seem to be striking out on Twitter this year, as Delta Airlines and Dutch Airlines join U.S. Airways in practicing the bad habit of tweeting before thinking. Just like the unforgettable pornographic U.S. Airways tweet from April, America’s Delta Airlines and the Netherlands’s Dutch Airlines published an offensive tweet after their respective countries’ victories.
FYI Delta Airlines, while there are giraffes in certain areas of the African continent, there are actually no giraffes in Ghana.
Similarly, Dutch Airlines’s photoshopped rendition of a Mexican was not funny but rather insulting.
Lesson learned: Avoid using stereotypes.
When will brands learn that in today’s social media age, when information spreads faster than wildfire and people are unafraid to broadcast their opinions, political correctness is next to godliness? Brands need to be more careful about what they say online.
Always remember that your social media reputation directly impacts your business sales, and your posts serve as advertisements that your followers will use to gauge your trustworthiness. Therefore, sacrificing political correctness for the sake of humor is not the way to gain your audience’s loyalty, as people are more likely to see it as an offensive marketing ploy rather than a clever marketing tactic. Be respectful to your audience, and they will do the same for you.
While there is no fool-proof strategy to creating advertisements, the most basic rule is to think before you speak. In these days, one post can make or break your brand reputation. Quality content is integral to any business’s marketing strategy, but it requires extensive analysis, time, and energy. Therefore, make sure that you think about your audience before you start brainstorming what type of ad you’ll create.