‘Tis the season…, the World Cup season that is,’ at least according to US broadcaster Fox Sports which kicked off its FIFA men’s 2022 World Cup promotional campaign in July with a 60second spot starring actor Jon Hamm as Santa Claus.
The commercial sees Saint Nick learn for the first time that he won’t be the only star of the show come this holiday season due to the (late holding) FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The 60-second spot was posted across the media giant’s social channels from 19 July and debuted on air during Fox Sports’ 20 July telecast of the 2022 MLB All-Star Game.
The kick-off commercial opened with Hamm’s Kris Kringle sitting by a pool enjoying a much-needed vacation, when he receives a phone call from the North Pole as elves celebrate the news that the World Cup schedule had shifted as this year’s tournament is being held in Qatar where the weather we was deemed too hot to play the tournament during its usual summer slot.
The ad states ‘We made a list. We checked it twice. And coming this holiday season on Fox Sports, Jon Hamm starring as Santa Claus will find out who’s naughty or nice at the biggest sports event in the world: The 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup’.
While Hamm himself laments that this year Santa has to ‘compete for attention against soccer’s biggest international stars, including Christian Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’.
“Are you kidding me? You’re telling me that they went ahead and moved the biggest sporting event on the planet right into the middle of my holiday season?” asks Hamm’s Santa. “That’s my time to shine. That guy [Ronaldo] has like 300 million followers. How am I supposed to compete with that?”
Cancel the piña coladas. Press pause on the spa treatment. And find a home for Santa's poolside turkey sandwich.
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 19, 2022
Once the spot debuted on air, the broadcaster returned from the commercial break in which the spot debuted to a telecast actually featuring Hamm who was in attendance at the 2022 All-Star Game.
“There’s some nice synergy there when we show the spot and then came back to Dodger Stadium to show Jon Hamm and show the US men’s players and kind of wrap it in a nice bow,” said Fox Sports EVP of Marketing Robert Gottlieb. “One of the advantages of having a sports network in a sporting event is you can create those nice little synergy moments where the marketing and content come together.”
‘Tis the season, the World Cup season is the first of three spots featuring Hamm as Kris Kringle.
The second spot featuring Mad Men star Hamm’s Santa will roll out in September to leverage the start of college football and the NFL season and the third promo will air closer to the World Cup which takes place between 21 November and 18 December 2022.
The campaign, which was created in-house at Fox Sport with a freelance creative director.
“We felt that it was really important to highlight [the World Cup timing] in our campaign, because a lot of people were not going to instinctively know that,” added Gottlieb. “At first [Santa’s] a little chafed that the World Cup might honing in on his action, but then he quickly comes to realize everything that’s great about the World Cup is what’s great about the holidays. The flights, scarves, families get together and friends get together and you drink and we get merry and cheer and sing, so that they share in common was kind of irresistible.”
Fox Sports is the FIFA World Cup English-language broadcast rights-holder in the USA through 2026 and the network will air all 64 matches live from Qatar across Fox, FS1 and its Fox Sports app.
This is Hamm’s second major new US ad campaign so far in 2022 following the January launch of an Apple TV+ campaign featured the actor played himself.