World Cup Magic Spray In Social Shaving Foam Wars

World Cup watchers around the globe have been fascinated by the referees’ magic spray and, as with most things that become a social media sensation, rival brands have been newsjacking the foam phenomenon.


While the spray has been a familiar part of the referee’s kit throughout the last season in Latin American and the MLS, in other country’s it is a new sensation.


Rival shaving foam brands – P&G’s Gillette and Unilever’s Sure both ran local market, low latency, Twitter-led, tactical responses to the spray trend.


Neither brand has an official FIFA relationship.


Gillette jumped on the vanishing foam bandwagon in the UK via Twitter on 19 June with a tweet at 4.03pm that featured the brand name written in foam in front of a line of football boots. It followed this with a further tweet referencing the vanishing foam in the copy and image offering the first 25 retweeters a free can of shaving foam.


The tactical response to the foam built on Gillette’s umbrella World Cup campaign which saw it roll out a powerful set of brand ambassadors – from Argentina star Messi and England keeper Hart, to Brazil manager Scolari – to endorse its shaving products through the tournament via local market campaigns (some featuring limited edition products and the hashtag #InnerSteel)




On the same day, around an hour after Gillette rival Sure joined the foam fun on Twitter running tactical ads reinforcing Sure’s invisible anti-white mark protection.


The Unilever brand’s agency DLKW Lowe, with media by PHD, rolled out a UK Tweet at 5.40 playing on the ref’s white spray.


Both brands’ reactions were slightly slower than those of several quick thinking consumers.


Not only had the spray already become a social hit with a slew of memes spinning around thee social media sphere, but dedicated Twitter feeds and Facebook pages had already been created too.




Brazil 2014 is the first major FIFA tournament in which its referees are using a shaving foam like spray to stop defenders from edging closer to the ball during free-kicks.


The ref simply sprays the water-based foam in a circle around the ball, then paces out 10 yards and sprays another line that the defenders need to stand behind.


Within a minute or so the spray magically vanishes – well, not magically, the can contains water and butane gas and the butane expands when the pressure changes and quickly evaporates leaving just the water on the ground.


The product has been used in domestic leagues in Brazil, Argentina and USA, but is making its international debut at this World Cup.




Gillette UK Twitter





Sure UK Twitter



Vanishing Foam Facebook



Vanishing Foam Twitter




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