J&J USA World Cup Campaign Uses Kids Books Not Soccer

Johnson & Johnson’s USA local market World Cup work, whilst still running under the global platform’s ‘Care Inspires Care’ tagline, takes quite different approach to most Brazil 2014 sponsor activation in so much as it doesn’t feature football.


There are no soccer stars, no pitches, no kits and no live action shots – there weren’t even any stunning shots of host city Rio or host nation Brazil.


Instead, FIFA’s official health-care sponsor launched its US marketing push for the tournament, called ‘Once Upon A Care’ without actually mentioning the tournament.


Instead, the initiative is fronted by children’s author Patricia Lakin and built around kids’ books and asks parents if they are doing enough to inspire their children.


Launched with an online film,



the campaign is built around Lakin interviewing New York City school kids about why they think ‘it is important to care’ and turning their answers into personalised illustrated story books.


Developed in tandem with agency JWT and production company Rooster, the outcome of the project is that the parents discover that their kids actually care about more about their firneds, loved ones and communities than they do about video games and ice cream


The campaign’s endline is ‘The care you give your children, they give back to the world. Care inspires care.”


The web film is hosted on a central online website and being supported across Facebook, Twitter and Pandora, and the programme includes a set of media partnership with established brands including Men’s Health, ABC, NBC, CNN, Yahoo and AOL.


Within the creative – from the video closing shot, to the site – one of the few references to World Cup on the campaign creative – from the video to the website is a small FIFA World Cup Brazil logo used in tandem with a line noting J&J’s official health-care sponsorship status.


Wendy Tull Bucaro, J&J’s marketing director-corporate equity, said in a statement that the strategy is all about connecting “our passion for caring with the world’s passion for football.”


She explains that ‘Once Upon a Care’ promotes ‘a mindful awareness among fans about the importance of care that we teach our children, even at young ages, that translates across cultures and generations’.


Despite minimal World Cup reference or presence, interestingly the campaign ideas was actually inspired by a previous viral by JWT Brazil in 2013 that went viral.




Why is J&J activating with a campaign carrying so few World Cup references or connections in the USA?


Especially when so much of its other Brazil 2014 work – from its Global ‘Care Inspires Care’ campaign (see case study), it its host nation match first aid medical bag, on-site medical centre help signage and its pre-tournament blood donation drive (see case study) are so much more heavily and directly focused on the football.


As was the US regional strand of the global ‘Champions Of Care’ CSR and ticket competition initiative (which was won in the United States by Houston teacher Maria Jaramillo after a public vote).


Is it because J&J’s research suggests that soccer in the US has still yet to have expanded to the extend where it can provide a true national platform for engagement on a country-wide basis?


Or has J&J failed to notice the rise-and-rise of the sport in America which has seen the MLS now overtake the NHL in terms of live in-stadium season attendance?




J&J Care Inspires Care Website



J&J Care Inspires Care USA Facebook



J&J FIFA PR Website



J&J Brazil Website



FIFA World Cup Website



JWT New York Website



Rooster Website



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