Romario Fronts Havaianas World Cup Flip-Flop Ambush

Few Brazilian brands are as well known globally as flip-flop giant Havaianas and, despite the official 2014 World Cup flip-flop brand being rival Amazonas, Havaianas has been leveraging Brazil 2014 with a soccer themed ‘Teams’ range pushed via regional campaigns across the globe.


World Cup host nation Brazil is a tropical country where the classic, casual slip-on shoes are pretty much the default footwear, so it is no surprise that despite not having official status Havaianas has launched a range of football sandals featuring player numbers and country names and colours for every nation taking part.


Of course, they don’t bear any of the official team logos or any iconography of Brazil 2014 itself or the official FIFA logo either, but while the official FIFA, Amazonas-made flip-flops retail for for 39.90 reais ($18), its rival’s ambush soccer-themed shoes are cheaper at 31.90.


In Brazil, the brand is using former Brazilian star striker and World Cup her Romario as the brand ambassador for its current campaign.


The campaign is led by a Brazilian TV spot developed by agency Almap BBDO and featuring Romario.


The spot opens with the forward buying a pair of Brazilian soccer-themed flip flops and asking for them to be packaged separately. Later, while watching a match at home Romario’s friends ask him why he is wearing only one flip flop and, as Romario laughs, the camera pans to a package landing on Maradona’s doorstep in Buenos Aires.



In-store and on-stand, the company is prominently displaying its football flip-flops – with the Number 10 featuring heavily on various team’s shoes representing star strikers such as Argentina’s Diego Maradona and Brazil’s Pele.


Over in Europe, Havaianas is running a World Cup multi-market tactical campaign – focusing on UK, France, Spain and Italy – based around the idea that no other brand conveys the Brazilian spirit quite like Havaianas.


To celebrate the 2014 FIFA World Cup kick off Havaianas partnered with The Metro Network on a tactical European press and online campaign targeting the media company’s nine million daily readers.


The creative was classically colourful and vibrant – as all the brand’s work is –  It featured iconic Brazilian images, buildings and beaches and the message spread across the double-page ad said ‘‘Bem-Vindo ao Brasil / Welcome to Brazil’).


The print execution aimed  to drive people to online stores where readers could purchase a special Havaianas suitcase.


This limited edition suitcase contains all the essential items needed for a trip to Brazil: such as a beach towel, a CD of Brazilian music, a guide to how to be a ‘Carioca’ (a resident of Rio) and, of course, a pair of flip flops.


While in Asia, Havaianas customers buying pairs of football-themed promotional flip-flops were offered a complimentary limited edition shoe bag and key-ring if you buy a promotional pair of flip-flops.




The ambush steers clear of breaking FIFA protective legislation and leverages football fever through Havaianas well recognised vibrant and colourful creative approach  and its familiar links to Brazil and the country’s spirit.


Meanwhile, Grupo Amazonas, a Brazilian business that makes rubber for shoe soles and launched its own brand flip-flops outside Brazil just three years ago, won the official contract to supply more than one million FIFA-branded sandals.


These products are being sold across official FIFA online platforms and on-site in Brazil in and around stadiums and in fan zones.


Amazona hopes this partnership with football’s global governing body FIFA will bring a massive boost to its international brand awareness and help it win further contracts and licensing deals with other companies.


‘It’s very powerful when you say you’re the official FIFA World Cup maker,’ says Amazonas export manager Frederico Pucci. ‘It gives us a lot of power in order to sell more and gives more credibility to the company throughout the world and in Brazil.


Amazonas’ goal is to gain market share in Brazil for its recycled, biodegradable sandals.




Havaianas Website



Amazons Website





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