Wednesday, May 28, 2014

ESPN World Cup Campaign Misses The Mark

With the FIFA World Cup set to kick off next month, broadcast partner ESPN is in full swing promoting the upcoming matches.  The strategy behind the campaign is that the entire world will be watching.  It's about including ourselves in this global event that will be a headlining topic of conversation.

Although ESPN's mega-event strategy is a proven one, I believe that in this instance, the execution is a complete miss.  The tagline they chose to convey the message of universal consumption of soccer is "Every Four Years The World Has One Time Zone.

If viewers don't think too hard about this tagline, everything adds up perfectly - the only takeaway being that the whole world will be watching.  However, if viewers consider that this year's host country, Brazil, spans four different standard time zones, with matches being played in two of them, then this tag doesn't make any sense.  For instance, host city Manaus (UTC-04) is a different time zone than Rio de Janeiro (UTC-03).  Which one is the world supposedly watching?   

I certainly understand there is some creative license in play here.  But it's lazy to ignore the factual accuracy in this case and I can only presume that if the World Cup were played in America and New York and Los Angeles were host cities (as they were in the year 1994), this tagline wouldn't have made it out of the first round. 

It seems that only amongst marketers is it acceptable for commercial communication to no longer be based on facts.  

As always, thank you for reading and sharing.

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