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Reflecting on a month of non-stop football coverage, Alex Clements this week mulls over the effectiveness of high profile advertising and sponsorship.

The World Cup is now over and things are, once again, returning to normal. Wives get their husbands back, kids get the right to watch TV back and the men are in recovery for another four years until the next World Cup. I will confess, I’m not a huge fan of grown men kicking a ball around a pitch (I’d rather watch grown men beat the life out of each other in a cage!). I did, however, watch a few games of the World Cup, including the England vs. Germany game, which was an interesting one to watch with Vanessa, my fiancée who, just to make things more interesting, comes from Wuppertal in Germany!

Despite not really caring who won the World Cup, I found myself subconsciously supporting Spain in the final. The only reason I can think of for this is that I quite like visiting Spain on my holidays. The least I can do is support their football team in return for their hospitality.

I’m quite easily distracted at times and my mind can wander to a vast array of weird and wonderful things. The example I’m going to share with you on this occasion came to me during this football (or “soccer” for those of you in the US) match between Spain and the Netherlands. As I watched the ball go back and forth between opposing players – and on occasion directly from one goalie to the other – my mind wandered as I noticed the multitude of banners advertising different companies around the pitch. There were banners for Adidas, Sony, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Budweiser to name a few. I sat there and wondered to myself, “How effective are these adverts?”

I decided that some of these adverts must be more effective than others when using this platform to reach their target market. I praise the strategic placement by Adidas because it is a company that manufactures sports clothing, which is likely to be of interest to a considerable percentage of football fans who will be watching. Similarly, people watching the game on TV at home or in a public bar could see the banners for Budweiser or Coca-Cola and as a result think “I could really do with a Budweiser!” – just as I did! Unfortunately, however, I was sitting at home with no access to any Budweiser… Of course, this is the aim of the banner and I’m sure it works quite effectively.

In my mind, I compared the effectiveness of the ‘drinks’ banners to that of ‘electrical goods’ banners which have used the exact same method to reach their target market. Let’s first think about the platform for advertising here: The World Cup final. A quick search on the internet suggests there were over 18 million viewers in the UK watching the game on British television. Before the game took place, FIFA expected an audience of 700 million worldwide to watch the final. Even if viewers turned out to be significantly fewer than this prediction, it would undoubtedly still reach a considerable number of potential customers. As a means of embedding your brand in the minds of your target market, I say this is a very effective way to reach millions globally.

Maybe the decision to advertise in this way would be more straight-forward for companies such as Coca-Cola as they are presumably targeting anyone who drinks liquid – which I shouldn’t need tell you is a pretty high percentage of the world’s population! However, for companies that specialise in electrical goods – which are not necessities of life (don’t tell my fiancée I said that) – as high value and infrequent purchases, from a consumer point of view there is more at stake and a bigger purchase decision to be made. Such companies must assess who they are targeting and who they would reach by each method of advertising before deciding on a platform.

At first, I questioned whether electrical goods companies would see as much return on investment as drinks companies would. Will people see these banners and think, “I could really do with a new TV”? My guess would be that the need for a beer would come before the need for a new TV, but then again, I was watching the game in high-definition on a 40-inch screen! Despite this, this approach still does the job of raising awareness and embeds the brand in the minds of millions. Not bad for something as simple as a banner with your logo on, is it? Not that a pitch-side banner at the final of the World Cup will be within every company’s budget, mind!

I’ll leave you now with one final example, which truly shows how effective advertising and sponsorship can be. Domino’s Pizza sponsored television coverage of the World Cup and Britain’s Got Talent, and it has been reported that the company has seen sales rise to 237.1 million – an increase of 21% in the last half year leading up to June 27, making a £17.5m pre-tax profit. Even more impressive, sales were said to have been up 65% on the day of England’s only World Cup win, increasing by a whopping 333% during the hours the match was shown! To find out more about Domino’s recent successes, click here to read Domino’s Pizza Plc Half Yearly Report.

  • If you would like to find out more about measuring and monitoring the effectiveness of advertising, please click here.

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