Surprising at it seems, Russia 2018 marks the first time in more than three decades that the United States mens national team is not playing in the FIFA World Cup, so Volkswagen America has launched a campaign that aims to encourage football fans to jump on another team’s bandwagon.
The multi-media ambush initiative, created in collaboration with agency Deutsch, is spearheaded by six spots (two 30-second ads and four 15-second ones) running on official US World Cup broadcaste Fox and Fox Sports.
The campaign, launched on June 15 (the day after the tournament kicked-off) centres of a set of short spots that see soccer supporters from around the world make their best pitch (involving either national clichés or eclectic country facts) to American fans to pursuade them to root for their team in this year’s tournament.
Because, of course, it’s more fun when you have a team to cheer for!
The commercials in the series include pitches for the following nations: Switzerland,
The initiative also includes digital extensions across the car company’s US social platforms and Snapchat filters for all those nations still involved in the final two weeks of the tournament.
Plus there is a parallel Spanish language activation phase that sees VW team up with Hispanic agency Creative on Demand (COD) for a campaign called ‘Súbete a la Pasion’ airing on Telemundo and featuring supporters from various Hispanic countries encouraging others to celebrate their shared passion for ‘fútbol’.
“The big tournament’s broadcast will be watched by more viewers than ever,” said VW America marketing senior VP Jim Zabel.
“Given the unique situation for US fans in this year’s tournament, our “Jump on the Wagen” campaign encourages Americans to root for one of the 32 teams in the tournament that may be tied to their lineage, includes one of their favorite players, or has an interesting backstory. Overall, it is meant to appeal to the Volkswagen fan’s affinity for soccer, delivered with our brand’s signature wink and smile.”
Accessible, simple and fairly standard fare this and the Activative team felt the brand’s previous 2014 World Cup ambush work ‘Golf Goals’ felt fresher (see case study).
Of course, we’ve seen this concept before (although not in the USA) and two notable current examples of this same tactical approach leveraging Russia 2018 include the Uber Eats and McDonald’s McDelivery ‘Team For Pirlo’ multi-market campaign (see case study) and the SPN ‘Doosri Country’ initiative in India (see case study).