Adidas Soccer revealed the Telstar 18, a reimagining of the original Telstar ball used at the tournament back in 1970 to be featured in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

It will be the most tech-savvy ball in history with an NFC microchip embedded inside. The chip will allow consumers to interact directly with the ball using their smartphones. Each ball generates a unique identifier, unlocking exclusive content and information for the user about the details of each ball and providing access to challenges that users can enter before the World Cup.

In short, passionate soccer fans can tap their phone on the ball to unlock a consumer experience – technically this could be anything from player exclusive content, to games, to Adidas’s discounts, to brand co-partnership

Why It’s Hot:

  1. Harnesses a red-hot passion point (aka soccer) at a global scale
  2. Enables increased product sales (the balls)
  3. Delivers on a unique and exclusive consumer experience
  4. Sky is the limit when it comes to content

Meaningful Connections in Social Meida (Nissan)- via Media Week


In a day and age in the digital world where some brands are throwing ad dollars at the wall and hoping for something to stick, Nissan is being discerning.  They are actually engaging strategy in their social and digital media capabilities, a practice many agencies leave out of their scope of work and leave in the hands of digital teams, which leave social to only be the executor’s, and not strategists. Nicola Kemp of Media Week UK comments that “sport and social media are such obvious partners that it is all too easy to declare the future of sports sponsorship will be played out primarily within the realms of 140 characters.”  This is the type of social and digital strategy that is built in a planning period and not when only executing.  In regards to Nissan, they are focusing their digital media efforts on large sponsorship’s (similar to an old OOH campaign from the 90’s, but layered with deeper analysis and data from today’s digital transparency.), less venues, larger audiences with targeting and live touch points with memorable experiences for consumers OOH & digitally.

Why It’s Hot

Large auto clients, as well as many other publicly traded companies (such as our clients) are shifting their trend of spending media budgets within agencies towards live events with highly targeted audiences.  Years ago this was the same spend that was utilized at large scale and investment with substantial OOH sponsorship’s, however it lacked the targeting.

In the end, you only buy a car every 5-6 years (1-3 years for most single males 25-34 and 3-6 years for single females 25-34- Comscore March 2014*), so by the time you have reached the consumer they have already had ample time to make up their mind and cemented their own opinion.  To prevent being left out Nissan hopes to be part of the long term conversation and have meaningful social and digital campaigns with targeted live events.  “You need to be part of what people enjoy and you have to be meaningful.”  Nissan will attempt this with live events surrounding sports such as their World Cup campaign’s this past year that focused on their Hispanic audience (hyper targeted demo and geo and behavioral).

The Goal is: Less, bigger and live

Nike Highlighting the Pros and Cons of Technology in Sports


This summer Nike launched the Risk Everything campaign as well as The Phenomenal Shot (with Google). The two campaigns are extremely interesting because they juxtapose the usage of technology in sports. The Risk Everything commercial “The Last Game” shows a … Continue reading

Google Smarty Pins Game Celebrates the World Cup

Like many other brands, Google is jumping in on celebrating the World Cup, with a fun, interactive map game called “Smarty Pins.”

The Smarty Pins quiz game combines the map functionality with trivia questions about the World Cup and its history. One question example: The 2006 World Cup venue now known as Signal Iduna Park, home to “Borussia’, can be found in this city. The user needs to drop the pin on the city and submit their answer to see if its correct. Answer: Dortmund, Germany.

Google helps the user out by at least moving the map to the general vicinity of the answer to narrow down your choices. You are also allotted 1,000 points that you can draw down from. For example, if you place the pin in the wrong city, Google deducts the distance from the right city and pulls from your allotted mile points.

Read more about this fun game herehere and here.

Google_Maps_Smarty_Pins_Putting_Trivia_On_The_Map-630x377 smarty-pins-2


Why It’s Hot

As a fan of maps, soccer and most importantly, the World Cup, this game was a hit for me. It showcases Google Maps’ capabilities, while allowing me to explore new regions and cities in the world that I might not research or see. A fun twist on a classic website that users typically access to find out where a restaurant is, plan a vacation or get directions!



Coke to Fly Their Selfie-Flag at World Cup

No stranger to big statements, Coke has come up with a way to use user-generated content to advertise on one of the world’s largest stages. As Adweek explains, “Coke will unveil its largest World Cup digital activation with a 3,015-square-meter nylon flag comprised of 219,000 photos collected via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from 207 countries.” The design of the flag itself is also user-generated – a recreation from Brazilian street artist Speto’s painting.

Though the selfies are driving the buzz around the flag, Coke says the flag itself is the center of it all. “The physical flag represents a moment in history that would be very hard to capture digitally,” explained Neil Bedwell, global digital director, Coca-Cola. Post World Cup, the flag will be on display at the soda giant’s hospitality venues, and a link to a microsite showcasing the “Happiness Flag,” as it’s known, will be emailed to each participant as a digital memento.

Why It’s Hot | Expensive creative for advertising is increasingly being replaced with free (or super cheap) user-generated content. And it’s not hard to figure out why. Crowd-sourcing for user-generated content not only helps brands’ budgets – it enhances buzz about the brand, and extends reach beyond the typical advertising campaign. In addition, it helps to build brand trust. Users feel special being featured by a brand, and empowered as a part of something bigger than themselves, knowing their contribution will be viewed by millions of people. The benefits of brands using user-generated content impact the brand and the users, driving a winning strategy (most of the time).

Tracking goals in the World Cup

Following several bad calls at previous World Cups, FIFA has reconsidered its stance against using technology to call goals. For the first time, referees will be wearing smart watches that vibrate and say “Score” on their faces as soon as goals are scored.

As reported in Gizmodo, the 4D detection system consists of 7 high-speed cameras that snap 500 shots per second. Referees receive a vibration on their smartphone in less than a second, according to the manufacturer Goal Control.  Goal detection systems will be placed around the goal lines at each of the 12 stadiums being used.  In all cases the ref makes the final call.

Why It’s Hot

With the fanatical appeal of the World Cup, success of this system during these games will almost certainly mean other major sports events, such as the Olympics, will use them in the future.  Leading to the inevitable question, how long will it be before referees themselves will be unnecessary?


Beats Electronic Epic World Cup Campaign

At an event on Wednesday, Beats Electronics premiered its new entertaining  World Cup campaign “The Game Before the Game.” In the five-minute clip, created by R/GA, soccer player Neymar Jr. is given a pep talk before the start of a big game. He is listening to the pep talk virtually, though his Beat headphone while fans are shown aerial shots of Brazil. The ad continues to show prominent figures including Lil Wayne, Nikki Minah, Stuart Scott, Serena Williams and Lebron James among others,  getting ready to support their teams in the big game. 


The stars featured in this ad are not just shown with Beats products, but also with Apple products. It’s important to note that Apple is planning to purchase Beats for $3 billion in the near future.

Why It’s Hot 

Although it is public knowledge that Apple plans to purchase Beats, the deal has not been finalized yet. It is interesting that the company chose to include and promote Apple products within the ad. However, at the event where the ad premiered, Beats made no mention of Apple.

Additionally, it makes us wander if in the future Apple and Beats products will be advertised together. Traditionally, Beats has a more risky ad strategy than Apple, which is evident by the sexual images in this World Cup ad. It will be interesting to see if these products begin to merge ad strategies or decide to remain separate.

Lastly, Lebron James is a Samsung endorser, so it surprised some that he chose to be part of an ad that had plugs for Apple products. The Beats Team reported that Lebron had reached out the company when heard about the ad and there was no way that they were going to turn down the King. Perhaps in the future Beats endorsers will now become Apple supporters as well

Read more here


Translate Your World Cup Tweets For Free

One Hour Translation will be offering free, on-demand translation services during the World Cup, which kicks off June 12. They will have 200 translators ready to translate  queries into Brazilian Portuguese during the games. A similar service was offered during the Winter Olympics in Russia.


Why It’s Hot
This service is not meant purely for consumers but can also help brands gain awareness and reach an international audience. One Hour Translation and similar services enable brands to post in real time, for free, without having to go through translation services. This can be especially appealing to service and tourism-related businesses who need to update fans immediately as new things are happening. According to One Hour Translation CEO Ofer Shoshan, tourism-related translation requests for Brazilian Portuguese — like hotel rooms, travel arrangements, etc. —​ have risen 52% in the past six months. Evidently, the need is there.

The issue is that sometimes words or phrases in one language cannot be directly translated into another language. Some messages are “lost in translation.” Brands will need to be incredibly careful as they broadcast messages to larger international audiences and may choose to spend some money to tap into other translation services.

Lastly, it will be interesting for marketers to dive into the data that is gathered from this service. For example,  what languages are making up various types of inquiries in a specific location. Valuable data like this could drive brands’ global campaigns in the future.

Read more here:

Sony Creates ‘Social Media Broadcast Channel’ for World Cup

Sony has created a mobile-first “broadcast channel” to serve as a one-stop destination, curating all social conversations related to the FIFA World Cup tournament in Brazil. The site is a product of Sony’s tier 1 sponsorship, and is designed to pull in conversations across major social platforms, giving fans a snapshot of what the world is saying about games, players and controversies surrounding the Brazil tournament later this year.

Review the preview site here.

5-13-2014 3-41-27 PM

Why it’s hot:

Social turns into TV. Visitors will be able to tune in and see what people are saying, but in an engaging and entertaining way. It won’t feel like just a load of Twitter hashtags – it will be a snapshot of what the world is feeling

Nike’s “Winner Stays” 2014 World Cup Ad

Last week, Nike released its new four-minute World Cup ad, “Winner Stays.” The ad features a group of youth playing a pick-up game of soccer while imagining themselves as the world’s best soccer players. The ad includes appearances by Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Wayne Rooney, Andres Iniesta and other soccer superstars.

Many believe Nike’s World Cup ad “Write the Future” set the standard for sports advertising in 2012. (You can watch it here) and it is safe to say the new ad did not disappoint.

You can watch the video here:

Why it’s Hot
First, did I mention that this ad, although obviously alluding to one of the world’s biggest sporting competitions, never mentions the World Cup. Why? Perhaps it is because the games are sponsored by Nike’s rival – Adidas.

Additionally to me, it’s also amazing to see the power of international brands taking the largest names and competitors in a single sport and getting them together to film an ad. Also, in a way, I see this as ad sending a positive message to the world. The ad emphasizes the fact that occasionally the world can come together for a for less serious and more peaceful purposes – for the love of the game