Russia 2018 Part Three – The best ad. work from FIFA’s festival of football

Here we are! The final article on Russia 2018. We’ll be looking at all the work done so far around the 2018 Russia World Cup. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

In summary of the past two episodes – sponsorship has been slow at the FIFA partnership level. There are multiple reasons why brands might be cautious to engage with this edition of the World Cup, as laid out in Part Two.

However, there’s a huge market to explore with football fans and Russians alike, so we expected big campaigns from creative agencies and brands.

Big games, big social political issues, and big markets.

Let’s jump into it!




We’re big fans of BBC’s tapestry

BBC created a promotional video for the World Cup, where every frame is a tapestry piece. A nod to traditional Russian art. The music is another great touch – a forty-piece orchestra recorded the classic Russian folk song ‘Ochi Chernye’ along side Bass Sir John Tomlinson (however why they didn’t use a native Russian speaker to sing a complex Russian song is a bit lost on me).


Forget everything, says ITV

Just like BBC, this is an in-house piece. But creatively incredibly different from each other. Fast edits and slick graphics – an all round great watch.


What if WALL-E did beer?

Title beer Sponsor Budweiser created the most adorable beer drone delivery animation, following a lost drone trying to get back to his mission of delivering ‘Bud’ to the World Cup. It’s the best thing since Nemo swam off the reef!



Someone talking LGBTQ+, finally!

Paddy Power released a campaign which immediately received positive sentiment not just from us in the promotional industries, but from ‘normals’ as well. For every goal Russia will score in the world cup, £10k goes to LGBTQ+ charities. This was bumped to £20K after the fan reactions.




Live It Up – Nicky Jam feat. Will Smith & Era Istrefi

I can confirm, it is possible to have a legit boogie to this one. The official FIFA World Cup anthem features a star cast and great production.


Jason Derulo – Colors

The official Coca-Cola anthem for the World Cup. We’re getting a little worse now. Oh god my ears.


Nicole Scherzinger – Dancing in the Street

A song by Qatar Airways, with Scherzinger. No, please – no. No one asked for this.





Apple takes some photos

A classic example of how to talk about the World Cup, without talking about the World Cup. Hats off for linking it so heavily to the product as well.


Uber Eats bites of more than they could chew

Poking fun at the fact Italy did not qualify for the World Cup, – Uber Eats (and McDonalds) holds a conversation with Andrea Pirlo on what team he should support. If you look past the acting, it might be possible to enjoy this one. Let me know if you do.


IKEA back with cracking prints

No surprise that IKEA has come out with great humorous print ads using their product in an international conversation.




Mastercard, you ok hun?

Very similar to the Paddy Power campaign, however why would you leverage starving children for your PR practices? This was a question many angry voices had online.





The Sun’s newsroom goes football mad

An ad for The Sun’s coverage of the World Cup. We’ve all kicked the office football a little too hard sometimes. Guilty.


New Balance x Russia

This was worth putting in because New Balance were one of the very few brands who used very Russian images in their video / print campaigns. Russian locations, language, and Soviet Union stock footage used through-out.


There were so many more World Cup campaigns we could have shared, but we would be here all day. And you’re all busy bees.


What’s to come?

The World Cup has been talked about by nearly half the world. brands will want to get all aboard the hype train and join in the conversation with their consumers.

We may see more social justice campaigns, like that from Paddy Power. Pride month has only just finished and brands may comment on the anti-LGBTQ+ laws as a grand finale.

Will brands come back to FIFA for Qatar? We doubt it. With social issues an even more prevalent than in Russia and with the cloak of FIFA corruption, we imagine promotional trends will stay the same.

Hesitant title sponsors, very few regional sponsors, and imagery in print and video to shy away from the culture and iconography of the home country.

But the next world cup will offer one variant. A winter tournament, starting in November 2022, with the final played 7 days before Christmas. FIFA + Christmas = Advertising heaven – we can’t wait to see what the ad. world will do with that! Get ready for some pretty out there creative!

But that’s for later, for now we hoped you enjoyed the ride in our three-part series on Russia 2018! Oh and congratulations Les Bleus, worthy winners – c’est rentré!

July 19, 2018