Food & drink brands prosper from World Cup ads

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France may have lifted the World Cup, but they were not the only winners as big brands basked in World Cup glory. And according to the latest Harris 24 survey conducted by Harris Interactive, food and drink companies had the most impact with UK consumers during Russia 2018.

The study looked at attitudes towards the footballing spectacle, and consumer awareness of brands sponsoring the event. And with three quarters of respondents supporting England, it was no surprise that 79 per cent found the competition enjoyable, while 78 per cent also felt it was one of the best World Cups ever.

The brand sponsor who received the highest awareness rating was McDonald’s (44 per cent), followed by Coca-Cola (40 per cent) and Visa (37 per cent). Beer brand Budweiser (32 per cent) and sportswear giant Adidas (31 per cent) completed the top five. Nike – a major football kit manufacturer – made the top six even though it wasn’t an official sponsor.

The feelgood factor associated with the World Cup is good news for brands, with more than half (53 per cent) of respondents feeling that being associated with the tournament would improve their reputation. However, on a more negative note, 40 per cent of those questioned felt there was too much branding around the World Cup, and only a fifth (21 per cent) thought branding would directly encourage people to buy the products or services of sponsors.

When it came to UK TV coverage of the World Cup, the BBC came out on top, with almost half (47 per cent) of respondents preferring their coverage, while only 16 per cent were rooting for ITV. And in the ‘Golden Mic’ stakes, former Golden Boot winner Gary Lineker lifted the trophy, being named the most enjoyed BBC pundit by 44 per cent of those questioned.

The trophy may not have come home with England, after their semi final exit, but almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of respondents felt that of the final two teams, France were worthy winners over Croatia.

“No doubt England’s successful run contributed to an enjoyable and successful World Cup, with more than three-quarters of the public gripped by some spectacular football, controversial VAR decisions, and nail-biting penalty shoot-outs,” commented Lucia Juliano, Head of Consumer Research at Harris Interactive. “We can also see from the survey that sponsoring such a high-profile event raises the profile of brands and can enhance their reputation with consumers.”


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