World Cup 2018 Insights for MENA.

While half of the world tunes in to support their favourite team during the Russia World Cup 2018, the other half keenly analyses the campaigns, execution style, and more importantly the results that brands gain from the World Cup fever that will continue to grip its audience for a month or so.

With over four Arab countries being represented in the 2018 edition, Arab countries have never been best-represented giving brands from the region a golden opportunity to expand their reach.

In order to better understand the football fever that is gripping this part of the world, OMD recently conducted a survey of 1000 respondents in the six GCC countries. Over 75 percent of respondents identify themselves as hard-core fans who watch the tournament to see their team succeed. As with all major events, football matches are considered as a social event with 69 percent of respondents mentioning that the will be watching a majority of the matches at their home with family or a friend’s place.

Encompassing everyone else too, the World Cup 2018 tournament is also said to have a major impact on other industries such as fast-food industries (74 percent respondent said they will be ordering food while watching the matches) and electronics industry (50 percent of respondent said they are considering purchasing a new TV prior to the tournament).

The magnitude of the World Cup 2018 is not lost on the brands who started rolling out their campaigns months before the World Cup 2018 even started. Gaining a head start, Etisalat, a well-known telecom operator within the region, was the first to launch its campaign with catchy tunes, dramatic shots, football, inside jokes, and Egypt’s beloved goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary. Rivalling their campaign is Vodafone Egypt and the “Egyptian Messi” of the football, Mohamed Salah. As part of his role being Vodafone’s brand ambassador, “Mo Salah” is shown as a ray of hope with a family the size of a nation.

While some brands are looking to drive revenues through their campaigns, others are using this opportunity to boost awareness about themselves and propagating beckoning of a ‘collaborative and colourful’ era. At least, that’s what Coca-Cola aims to do by becoming the official sponsor of the Saudi National Team, as well as the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Another honourable mention goes to the ‘impossible’ World Cup campaign for INFINITI Q50. Edgy, creative, and engaging, this campaign has managed to capture the attention of truly hard-core football fans with references to past matches.

Regardless of the fact that whether you a football fan or not, it’s hard not to get infected with the enthusiasm of the sport. And brands from the region are doing their best to score attention amongst their audiences before the ball from the final match of the tournament is kicked.

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