#WorldCup Daily Brand Watch: How Puma Competes With Nike and Adidas, Hublot's Brilliant Plan and How Shakira's Song Helps Others Live

By Renee Sylvestre-Williams

Keeping an Eye one Time Thanks to Hublot

The 2014 FIFA World Cup has been exciting thus far. In the first several days we’ve seen thrilling matches and fans are already predicting who will (and won't) make it out of their respective groups. 

We’ve also seen a lot of extra time, which has meant extra (valuable) exposure for luxury watchmaker Hublot, the official watch of the World Cup and redesigned the referee board (both of which can be seen in the gallery below)


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It’s a smart move for Hublot. By redesigning the referee board and adding its logo, it keeps its name top of mind for the millions who are watching the games for the next month. And the board looks like a Hublot watch (brilliant move). 

As for the watches, Hublot is going after the young male demographic. Besides the 2014 World Cup watch, it has also used football stars to endorse the brand. The strategy is appealing to the guys who will want both a memento of the World Cup and to experience part of the luxury that comes with being a success footballer.

Music Makes the Ball Go Around

There’s been some controversy about FIFA’s official World Cup song, “We Are one (Ole Ola)." (We touched on that controversy in our look at the history of World Cup anthems.) It’s been criticized for being tone deaf to Brazilian culture. The complaints range from the singers (Cuban-American singer Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez, who is Bronx-born, but of Puerto Rican descent) to it being sung in English and Spanish instead of Brazil’s national language Portuguese.

We Are One (Ole Ola) [The Official 2014 FIFA World Cup Song] (Olodum Mix)
by PitbullVEVO via YouTube

The backlash has created a vacuum for brands to make their own songs and hope for a marketing success. Some brands have been creating World Cup music with the hopes of raising awareness not only of their brands, but also for charitable causes.

Shakira, who wrote and sang the 2010 World Cup song, “Waka, Waka (This Time for Africa)” sings “La La La” which is sponsored by Activia in partnership with the World Food Programme. Since its debut three weeks ago, the YouTube video has 95 million views. And that has resulted in success for WFP too:

With the launch of the video on May 22, Activia and Shakira have donated the value of 3 million school meals to our vital programmes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nicaragua, which are facing funding challenges.

Shakira - La La La Brazil 2014 ft Carlinhos Brown
by Brianne Darrah via YouTube

Coca-Cola also released a new song and it’s been successful too -- it hit the top 10 charts in 40 countries. By comparison, their 2010 effort, “Waving Flag” by K’naan, only charted in 17 countries. 

Music is universal and if a catch tune is catchy, then it will resonate with the audience, whether it’s about football or yoghurt. As  Joe Belliotti, director of global entertainment marketing at Coca-Cola says, 

The World Cup is universal. Music is universal too and if you can find that simple melody and simple lyrical idea that can translate and connect with people around the world, that's the formula we strive for.

Given how easy it is for fans to share music in 2014, trying to cash in on the World Cup craze with a catchy tune is a no-brainer for brands that have the resources.

Puma's Piece of the Action

If you’re a small brand and you don’t have millions of dollars, how do you get a piece of the action? After all, the World Cup is one of the biggest events in the world and there are a lot of eyeballs out there. Inc. asked that very question and came away with some lessons about Puma's approach at the World Cup.

Puma, which is an underdog to Adidas (official World Cup brand) and Nike ( who are dominating the World Cup) is looking to get a share of those eyeballs and are using some tried-and-true techniques and taking advantage of a loophole 

Footballers might be branded up to their eyeballs, but there is that loophole -- they can wear whatever brand of cleats they want, they don’t have to wear their sponsor’s cleats. Their cleats are very distinctive thanks to their color. And we’re talking bright colors -- making them very easy to see against the green of the pitch. 

Puma knows it can’t compete with Adidas or Nike in terms of dollar spend so they’re going where they need to go -- directly to their customer and to people who want a company that speaks to them. They’ve cast themselves as innovators dedicated to football gear, letting the gear speak for itself. 

And having Mario Balotelli as a spokesperson doesn’t hurt.

Mario Balotelli ITALIA! World Cup 2014, GOL 2:1 England 49min.
by Hubert Kozłowski via YouTube


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