As the days counted down to the June 14 kickoff of the 2018 World Cup, two marketing-related questions emerged:
Which companies would attempt to reach American viewers despite the U.S. not making the tournament? And for those that did, what message would they send?
Taking stock of what was aired over the last month, it’s no surprise that American-based behemoths such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Visa aired the globally-focused ads that one would expect from them throughout the tournament.
In “We’re with you.,” McDonald’s let consumers from Iran to Iceland know that it’s open 24 hours, delivers, and serves breakfast:
Coca-Cola, similarly, aired its kickoff commercial in languages ranging from English to Arabic:
And Visa used Zlatan Ibrahimovi?, a former Swedish national team player, to send the message that you don’t have to miss a World Cup if you’ve got their card.
However a few brands did venture to target an American audience with specific messaging – and with mixed results.
In an early flub Wells Fargo, having already made marketing headlines for its long-running faux accounts apology campaign, set off a legit Twitterstorm by using Landon Donavon to suggest that the Cup was worth watching and that it was OK to root for Mexico: