World Cup 2018

Campaign Kings Of The World Cup?

By Rupert Pratt | July 12, 2018

Ahead of Sunday’s FIFA World Cup Final in Moscow, advisor to, Rupert Pratt, takes a look at the tournament’s best ads. 

Who’s winning the World Cup?

With England now out of the World Cup we can all turn our attention to who has won the hearts and minds of the fans for the most memorable and profitable campaigns.

According to research by System 1 Wish, a San Francisco-based shopping app is leading the way in the ad stakes, triumphing over football heavyweights such as Coca-Cola and Adidas.

What have been the most engaging and creative World Cup ads to date?

Team members from both Snack Media and Snack Gaming have shared their memorable campaigns and also given exclusive insight into joint research we are carrying out across our network of 26 million sports fans with sports marketing surveys.

If England get beaten, so will she:

An advert that has not necessarily been broadcast a huge amount but certainly touches upon a serious topic, is J Walter Thompson’s campaign of blood trickling out of a woman’s nose in the shape of an England flag. As part of a campaign for the National Centre for Domestic Violence, the advert focuses on the effect on women when England under-perform. According to a report, 26% of women get beaten when England play and 38% get beaten when they lose. Chilling statistics in an era where English teams have continuously under-performed.

England till I dye:

Perhaps the most controversial advert of the World Cup campaign is that of Paddy Power’s spray-painted polar bear. The Irish betting company are no strangers to contentious adverts. The image of the polar bear sparked huge frenzy when it was featured on a full page ad cover of the Metro, with the red stripe of the St George’s Cross emblazoned on its white fur, along with the caption, ‘England ‘till I dye’. Despite the outrage of environmentalists, Paddy Power responded by announcing that they had donated a five-figure sum to Polar Bears International, a project to protect Russian polar bears.


No large sporting event is complete without an extravagant Adidas advert and this year was no different. The #HereToCreate campaign features an abundance of celebrities across various different industries with rapper A$AP Ferg acting as MC. Their choice of an arena as the focal stage is inclusive to all the famous faces, and different regions around the world will experience different adaptations of the advert. Simply trying to name all 56 faces is enjoyable in itself and it’s easy to find yourself caught up in the fast pace of the advert.

Dream Big:

The Official Supermarket of the England football team, Lidl, have teamed up with players such as Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker and a bunch of curious children. Their ‘Dream Big’ campaign follows a training session with the two parties and highlights the three-year partnership with the England team. Lidl’s own support of the FA’s involvement in grassroots football has seen millions of 5-11-year-olds benefit from training over the last few years. The balance of football and humour is cleverly worked and you can’t help but laugh at the interaction between the players and the future generation of football (not to mention some challenging acting!).


Pizza giants, Domino’s, launched a pizza called the ‘Meatfielder’ in time for the World Cup. With 346 pizzas estimated to be bought every minute over the competition, this meat extravaganza is sure to be a World Cup necessity. The new pizza has also made it onto Domino’s ‘Pizza-nini stickers list’, a clever adaptation of the Panini sticker book which sees pizza lovers collect 11 stickers of selected pizzas in an attempt to win…you guessed it, free pizza.

World Cup Fan Survey: Snack

When it comes to fan consumption here are some initial findings from our research across our network in conjunction with Sports Marketing Surveys.

At this stage, with 52% of respondents from the UK, it’s no surprise that:

  • 67% are loving it!
  • 28% are quite enjoying it
  • 1% are not enjoying it at all

When asked about viewing preferences and habits:

  • 66% are watching at home
  • 12% in the pub or bar

When asked about people’s drinking habits:

  • 31% were not drinking beer
  • 19% drink Budweiser, the official beer of the World Cup
  • 10% drink Stella Artois, Wimbledon’s main sponsor

When asked on how else people were interacting with the World Cup:

  • 11% on social media
  • 11% placing a bet

Of those who were betting:

  • 49% was informal betting with friends, family or colleagues (These figures demonstrate a great opportunity for brands to get involved with our fantasy and predictor games)
  • 18% use Skybet
  • 8% use Bet365 and Paddy Power
  • 5% use William Hill and Coral

For more details of our exclusive digital fan insights and activation opportunities across our network please contact:

Rupert Pratt is an advisor to and co-founder of

World Cup 2018