No Advertising, Big Problem
By Krystina Lucido
As the World Cup goes on, fans are inundated with advertisements and endorsements for the players, team and just World Cup in general. By this point, everyone is so used to commercials and outdoor advertisements that we barely notice them, at least consciously.
But the people behind the advertisements don't necessarily need you to consciously consume their ad. They are talented enough at their job that you get the message anyway.
Octagon is a global marketing company with offices in Virginia and London. They hold MTN, a company equivalent to a Sprint in America; Sony; Kia; and Coke Global as clients.
Octagon runs MTN's hospitality program, which universally means they take care of ticketing internally and externally and hosting the clients and employees while they are in the host country. For example, they organize transportation for visitors to get to stadiums for games with buses and also work with local restaurants to book them out for clients.
They also work largely with the activation portion of MTN's marketing plan which includes partnering with local townships to do events similar to the FIFA FanFest where they sponsor screens and branding as well as commercial displays, which also roll out at the stadiums.
Commercial displays consist of "gig rigs," vans that fold out into stages where a company displays product and attempts to draw in passing crowds. MTN's pulls in a large but fast-rotating crowd. They have music and screens showing games from other stadia as well as interactive games with premiums.
There other marketing programs with Sony, Kia and Coke are smaller scale but the same general idea is to create ideas to associate your company specifically with this event and use the World Cup as a steppingstone to awareness of your product.
Though fans just see these advertisements everywhere, we don’t necessarily think about the logistics behind it.
The rotating banner running around the perimeter of the field flips between six major sponsors including MTN. Last World Cup, MTN was next to McDonald's which owns a red logo while MTN's is yellow. The contrast turned out nicely and made both logos stick out. This World Cup, a new Brazilian company jumped in and was placed right next to MTN -- also with a yellow logo. This makes both logos washed out and neither stick out, which means less eyeballs on it and less exposure. Unfortunately, the logos were lined alphabetically so it could not be changed. Therefore, the Brazilian company changed theirs to white.
At the U.S. versus England game I made a note that the video boards were not functional. I took this as a note to the difference between stadiums in the United States and others around the world that maybe we just like always having to look at or something. Turns out, the video boards were not only supposed to be functional, they were also supposed to be rotating sponsor logos during halftime. The fact that they weren’t was a huge issue because this kind of exposure is included in the contract, so if they don’t get it, it has to be made up someplace else.
Check back later for more on what issues Octagon faces dealing with the economic disparity in Africa from a marketing perspective.
Posted June 18, 2010 at 8:13 a.m. (South Africa time)