• The Best World Cup Commercials to Inspire Small Business Marketing

Small Business Marketing Lessons from the World Cup CommercialsEvery four years, a force spreads through the globe and ignites a sense of passion, and pride: fútbol fever. This year, marketers took advantage of the World Cup and displayed their ingenuity. While small business owners may not have the same budgets or audiences as these global corporations, you can still learn from some of this year’s best marketing campaigns.

This blog post highlights trends from FIFA 2014 commercials, and provides suggestions on how small business owners can gain insight and inspiration from these corporate marketing campaigns for their own initiatives.

1. Bring People Together

The theme of unity in global sporting events isn’t groundbreaking, but the approach that corporations have taken this year on the theme show is unique: international interests that overcome cultural differences.

Coca-Cola’s commercial capitalized on the theme of “unity” for their Word Cup commercial by illustrating a commonality (the love for soccer) amongst different cultures.

Coca-Cola’s tagline this year was, “This is the World’s Cup.” The company’s Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, Joseph Tripodi, explains Coca Cola’s message: “Through ‘The World’s Cup’, Coca-Cola wants to celebrate real people playing football, demonstrating how the game is a force for a more inclusive and connected world.”

The commercial follows the journeys of underprivileged individuals around the world who were given the chance to attend the World Cup by Coca Cola, showcasing their excitement upon their arrival in Brazil. It illustrates how, despite the devastating events that have torn up the corners of the world, soccer continues to encourage people to pursue their dreams.

The lesson that small business owners can take from this commercial is simple: bring people together.

You may not have the same global influence as FIFA or Coca-Cola, but you do have the power to bring people together on a smaller scale. By working towards establishing yourself as a community’s founder and/or industry leader, you will earn the trust of potential customers.

You can become a leader in your community by organizing, hosting, or sponsoring events. Tools like www.meetup.com provide convenient channels for you to reach your niche audience, as you serve as the bridge that connects people with each other. Sponsoring events in your community and affiliations with local events can help boost your business’s visibility and image.

2. Leverage Your Community

Visa went another route with its marketing efforts. Rather than highlighting the power of unity, Visa emphasizes the World Cup’s reach to diverse communities.

Visa titled its commercial “Unity in Rivalry”. In the commercial, various Nobel Peace Prize Laureates talk about the powerful effects soccer has on their respective nations. They all speak of the pride they have for their country and the excitement of seeing their teams compete in the world cup.

Visa’s marketing message focused on how, even though each country roots for its own team, everyone celebrates this event in a joyful, passionate way.

 While small business owners may not be able to travel the world and film various cultures celebrating the world cup, they can still get involved in marketing in their community.

Just look at your Linkedin profile, and notice what type of groups you’re involved in or would like to join. As a small business owner, you have a multi-layered identity, and can connect with communities based on interests, location, industry, alumni associations, etc. Take advantage of your diverse background to expand your network.

3. Emphasize the Transformative Power of Your Product

Another trend in this year’s FIFA commercials is the transformative powers of different companies’ products. Many commercials show how companies can make customers feel like professional soccer players. Xbox and Nike’s commercials show people morphing into top soccer players when they use the company’s products. The message is clear. Even though not everyone can be Cristiano Ronaldo, these products have the power to transform the average Joe into a world-class soccer player.



 Small business owners can also craft a message around the transformative power of their products or services. We can’t all have advertisements with Cristiano Ronaldo but anyone can appreciate the idea of realizing one’s potential through the use of products and services. Don’t be afraid to have fun with it. Exaggerate the power of your products. Nike and Xbox did it, you can too!

We all understand that small business owners don’t have the resources that corporations have, but rather than fretting about budget restrictions, make light of the situation. Approach your efforts with humor, and act like the big boys even if you can only do so with a few social media posts or a homemade video.

4. Piggyback on Trending Events

Hyundai’s commercials for FIFA 2014 were arguably the best of this year. Both of the following commercials focus on ways that the World Cup can affect individuals. Neither, however, seems like a car commercial. If it weren’t for the Hyundai logo that appears at the end of the commercials, it would be difficult to decipher the company behind the marketing efforts. Sure, a few clips show shots of the car here and there. But not even the tagline relates to the automobile company, as it simply reads “#becausefútbol.”

And yet, this campaign has experienced tremendous success. Hyundai set up a website called www.becausefutbol.com where it uploads images, memes, and gifs that people tweeted with the #becausefútbol.


 This campaign is a perfect example of piggyback marketing. Small businesses can take advantage of trending events or news stories as well. Piggybacking serves as a cost-effective marketing method, since businesses don’t have to fund the subject that’s drawing attention.

Hyundai tied its product to FIFA in a creative and humorous way. As you can see, they don’t have too much in common. You just have to think out of the box, and consider your marketing possibilities through unique angles. You can use these different angles to inspire blog posts or other marketing campaigns. If you need help thinking outside of the box, check out these 130 blog ideas for more inspiration.

While you may not have the same budget or resources as these companies, you can still leverage their marketing strategies for your own business. Approach marketing initiatives with a creative mind, and have fun with the opportunities around you!

ThriveHive combines easy-to-use tools and expert guidance to help businesses stand out and get found online. Learn more about our guided marketing and advertising solutions here.


  1. Good point Laura, like it or not, we live in a time when prospects and clients demand specialization. They want to feel that they’re receiving the product or service they want and need from an authority or expert. Every small business owner MUST position themselves and their business as that authority or expert, and you CAN’T do that while trying to be everything to everyone. Most business owners today try to expand their product or service offerings, reasoning (incorrectly) that they’re casting a wider net that will catch more fish. In reality, they’re doing the exact opposite. Your prospects want to feel as though you’re focused solely on the things that are most important to them. If you try to be everything to everyone, you become nothing to no one. So lets build from our immediate community, even Coca Cola, Hyundai, Nike, Xbox and Visa, with all their resources and financial muscle, they still aim at that one to one touch.

    • Laura Haime says:

      Hi Ricky, I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Right, it’s helpful to see how large corporations set themselves as leaders and experts, and there’s a lot to learn from their strategies.
      Thanks again for the comment!

  2. Ken Glick says:

    Enjoyable post but, really, there’s nothing in these commercials small, medium or large business owners don’t already know. I honestly feel that the World Cup is getting plenty of attention so their advertisers don’t need to have their commercials talked about anymore on business-related blogs.

    • Laura Haime says:

      Hi Ken,
      Thank you for your post. While these points may be basic principles of marketing, it’s good to review them and see examples of them that were executed by experts.
      Thanks again!

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