Social media is set to be the advertising winner at the Brazil World Cup

During the World Cup 2014, traditional media sectors including TV and radio are predicted to enjoy their usual advertising revenue bounce. However, the real winner, if not yet in overall revenue then certainly in terms of where marketing resources and effort are being directed, is social media. This will undoubtedly be the most social World Cup ever and probably the most social event in history.

The importance and power of a social media strategy are underlined by Twitter which says there have already been more posts about the World Cup before a ball has been kicked in Brazil than for the entire tournament in 2010. Social media allows brands to tell more stories than a 30- or 60-second TV spot may typically afford and sponsors are eager to piggyback on the new-found power of their stars on Twitter.

The combination of live TV and Twitter is proving to be an irresistible combination, with research from Nielsen showing that 60% of UK users tweet while viewing. However,  ITV, as the holder of the commercial TV rights,  is not seeing a huge rise in pure World Cup TV ad spend, only perhaps a boost of the order of £20m-plus. Besides, radio is booming with TalkSport, the commercial rights holder for the World Cup, predicting revenues will be up 45% in the second quarter. But it is not good news for the press, with figures from 1 April to 5 June showing that there has been no World Cup runup boost, with ad spend down 5.4% year on year.

And my question to the class- do you think the power of social media advertising is overestimated? What are downsides of social media advertising? And what are the risks for brands of investing in social media advertising, especially considering that their home team may surprisingly not make it to knock-out stage?


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