Everything You Need to Know to Win at Advertising for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™

Feature image about advertising with the FIFA world cup, a Pepsi can, Big Mac box and a football with a stadium in the background
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Are you an advertiser looking to promote your brand and products? Well, you couldn’t have picked a better time to do your magic.

Because when is a better time than the world’s most-watched sporting event?

In this blog, we’ll explore the unique window of opportunity of advertising for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, analyze some of the best ads (non-animated and animated) that connected brands to their audiences in the previous World Cups, and share with you champion tips to maximize the effect of your commercials during this period.

FIFA has already introduced its mascot for the tournament set to be held in Qatar, while network giants Telemundo and NBCUniversal had sold almost all of their ad inventory by August.

So, let’s kick the ball and start this match already!

Why is FIFA 2022 World Cup a big deal?

It’s not every day that more than half the world sits down to watch what you’re about to show them.


There will be severe competition on the field, but the fight for attention that takes place off the field is no less fierce.

FIFA estimates a colossal audience of 5 billion will tune into the event. So, the month-long tournament is a time brands would want to take advantage of.

Following the increased streaming possibilities since the last World Cup in 2018, we can only expect more people to tune in this time.

FIFA says Qatar 2022 will break viewership records with 1.5 billion more audiences compared to Russia’s previously record-breaking 3.572 billion viewers on television alone.

Marketers will have a broad audience of people of all kinds to entertain by advertising for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Most of them will be using free-to-air TV to watch their favorite matches. Others will satisfy their footie needs via apps and over-the-top (OTT) streaming devices. Meanwhile, some will pay to watch their matches.

How brands use ads to engage with audiences during the World Cup

Here’s some good news:

People have more media and devices at their disposal, and they’re using them simultaneously, giving you more eyeballs to attract. A US adult is exposed to different media for more than 10 hours daily.

The bad news is that all this has resulted in a decreased attention span.

As a marketer or advertiser, we’ll show you how brands swing this seemingly two-edged sword and make their products stand out.


We’ve all heard of this one. A brand pays a specific amount of money to be part of a sport or an event.

In other words, sponsorship happens when a party agrees to support another for a predetermined time to be shown to the audience. It can be banners around a stadium all the way to video ads.

Sporting sponsorships are trusted by most people and can lift purchase intent by 10%.

Another advantage of sponsorships is that many football fans favor a product that has been sponsored over others if they possess the same price and quality.


Celebrity endorsements are great.

If you have the money, of course. Football fans are always thrilled to see the faces of their heroes.

Companies like Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Adidas, and Nike have known this and have made creative ads with the most famous soccer players for a long time.

Fashion Brand Hugo Boss used over 200 influencers, including German footballer Grischa Promel for its #BeYourOwnBoss campaign and achieved an insane 1.9 billion impressions and 75 million engagements across social media in just one day.

Pepsi’s Nutmeg Royale featuring Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, and Ronaldinho, is one of this year’s best World Cup commercials.

Interactive content

One of the best ways to keep your audience engaged is through interactive content. Let them build a team, answer football-related questions in quizzes to test their knowledge, and relive the sport’s history!

You can get your hands on zero-party data by creating interactive content, which helps you know your clients at scale.

This is information that your audience intentionally shares with you, including intentions, tastes, interests, and many more.

Animated content

The lengths you can go to in animation to depict what’s inside your mind are limitless. This alone makes animated content a winning card when advertising for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

A proven fact, animation is not only for children. In fact, adults feel reminiscent of cartoons and animated videos and sometimes watch them more than children.

In exchange for what you’ll get out of animated commercials, they are cost-effective. Consider leaving the creation of your animated ads in good hands. An experienced studio will make videos with powerful stories and characters that can be used on different platforms to maximize audience reach and brand awareness.

What to consider before advertising for the World Cup

Image listing tips to advertise for the world cup

Going big on different platforms helps

Because many viewers now have one eye on the TV and the other on their phone, your ads can benefit from being seen on multiple screens. Google’s Reach Planner tool found that even a 9:1 combination of TV and YouTube for advertising campaigns can increase reach by 33% compared with TV alone.

There are more “crunch-timers” now

Obviously, not everyone sits down and watches every single game for a whole month.

“Crunch-timers” are people who tune in for the big moments only. This constitutes 37% of Gen Z and 20% of all adult sports watchers.

With the enormous population watching any part of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, you can still benefit from ads. Fans will be watching their videos and highlights of their favorite matches on different platforms, further backing the cross-device reality.

Independent voices have joined the game

Earlier, we would have an hours-long rant, giving “expert” opinions on the matches and predicting the results. Meanwhile, ex-professional players and sports analysts sat on a couch on TV and shared their views.

Nowadays, people prefer an organized set of content relevant to what satisfies their visual fix.

And YouTube algorithms have done just that. Fans have access to diverse opinions and constantly receive personally related content.

Again, this is excellent news only if you create content that stands out in a giant pool of advertisements.

Tips for a successful animated commercial 

If you wish to communicate your brand’s message through animation, these tips will help you go big with your video marketing campaign.

Tell a captivating story

Story sells more than facts.

That is if your story captures the audience’s attention. A brilliant story starts with an idea, continues with a coherent narrative by making people care about something they didn’t seconds ago, and gets them on board emotionally through the end without boring them.

Many brands have done a fantastic job by telling creative stories with some of the best football players in the world.

For this year’s World Cup, Coca-Cola released a video titled “Street” with the message “Believing is magic.” In it, a girl is shown walking down a street, drinking a Coca-Cola bottle. The beverage suddenly makes her imagine a carnival-like event before bringing her back to the real world. The story is pretty simple, but the setting and relatable character get viewers in the World Cup mood and some of its glories.

Make people “feel” something

The characters, the flow of the story, and the message you include in your video need to spark something in the viewers. Otherwise, they’ll just stroll right past without ever remembering it.

Sure, data is great, but rationality woven with empathy is what will really attract your audience. In fact, more than one-third of ads are emotional-based today.

That’s right. Emotion is marketing’s best friend, especially if you succeed at creating empathy and acknowledging and supporting the audience’s struggle.

Champion tip:

Create positive social media posts and give personality to your engagements. This earns you something twice as better as loyal customers; emotional ones.

Don’t underestimate cross-device impact

Following the pandemic, there has been a significant shift from traditional TV to streaming sports, giving advertisers a golden opportunity to jostle between various methods to engage an audience that gets them closer to their marketing goals.

All they have to do is ensure their videos can be used across different platforms.

Start strong, explain fast, be brief!

You won’t attract the viewer if the beginning of your video, especially the first 8 seconds, is not attractive. Moreover, most of them won’t stick around if the video lasts longer than two minutes.

As an advertiser, your task is to deliver complex messages in simplified, entertaining videos, avoiding user cognitive overload.

Flash your brand a few times

Once your video begins, you have time to slide in your brand’s name and flash the product you’re offering. As advertisements penetrate the viewer’s subconscious, doing this helps create a memorable image of your brand in the audience’s minds.

Include believable characters

In the case of dealing with a broad audience (it doesn’t get any more comprehensive than the World Cup, does it?), you need to opt for characters that are understood by the majority of people.

Food companies are experts at this. Most of them don’t have a definite buyer persona, making them create ads that will appeal to as many people as possible.

For your World Cup ad(s), your characters shouldn’t pertain to any social group, race, or country. Doing this will only limit your chances of communicating with a large crowd.

5 of the best-ever World Cup commercials 

To better understand effective advertising for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, we’ve analyzed five of our favorite World Cup ads by some of the biggest brands in the world that increased their sales and tapped into their audience’s hearts.

5. McDonald’s – 2014 World Cup commercial

Who is McDonald’s for? Everybody? How about Football?

In this fun video, different people from different parts of the world are seen having a blast performing trick shots and filming them.

McDonald’s has always targeted kids, teenagers, and adults in its marketing campaign as the brand identifies as one for everybody’s delight. And what better way to remind this than engaging various people in an amusing multicultural ad for the World Cup?

4. Beats Audio – The Game Before The Game

The Beats Audio commercials work for any sport.

Beats has positioned itself as a high-quality headphone and earbud maker that gets athletes buzzed before showtime.

This is shown perfectly in this motivational video. With X Ambassadors and Jamie N Commons’ memorable “Jungle” and a focused pre-game Neymar Jr., we start having goosebumps.

Football is a beloved sport in the US, but it’s not people’s favorite. And what did this American brand do to attract the most viewers and connect to a broader audience?

It didn’t stop at Neymar. The video features a handful of well-known faces like Lebron James, Thierry Henry, Serena Williams, Lil Wayne, and Nicki Minaj, a genius move by the advertisers.

Concentration and motivation are two necessary elements of sports, and the video ends with everybody putting down their headphones after entering their “beast mode,” thanks to Beats’ flawless music experience.

3. Samsung – Galaxy 11

Any video that stars the biggest footballers during the times of big soccer events gets fans hyped before even clicking on it.

Samsung took things further, using VFX effects and animation to demonstrate the technological aspect of their products. The story takes place in a futuristic world where some of the best players try to save the planet from aliens by playing football, which perfectly aligns with what the Korean brand is advertising.

Samsung Galaxy’s features are smartly introduced in between the action. This is a testament that even the best of the best can use Samsung devices to their advantage and improve their performance with their features.

2. Coca-Cola – Wavin’ Flag

As part of the Wavin’ Flag series for the 2010 edition of the FIFA World Cup, Coca-Cola released a one-minute 3D animated video that still sparks up nostalgia among many.

The ad features a young African boy going on an imaginary ride toward his dreams with Coca-Cola as a companion to his journey that stops him from giving up (pretty darn smart, huh?).

Thanks to the power of animation, we can get a bigger picture of what the creator(s) had in mind. The character is believable, and every African child can relate to him.

We were particularly impressed by the beautiful storytelling together with K’NAAN’s anthem for the 2010 World Cup playing in the background.

1. Nike – Risk Everything

Once again, we were bedazzled by another silly commercial animated video.

Nike is a perfectly established brand. But this doesn’t stop it from benefiting from an animated masterpiece featuring 11 of the best footballers ever touching the ball.

The team of “originals,” now defeated and retired, stand before a team of their superior “clones” in an epic battle on the field to prove to the world, and themselves, that you can’t replace originality with anything (also what Nike loves to voice).

Another message to appreciate is that the players “Risk Everything”, leave their new lives behind, and push all their chips forward to accomplish a seemingly impossible task.

Start winning hearts at the World Cup 

Now that we know the irreplaceable opportunity of advertising for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and other most-watched sporting events, it’s time to start planning ahead and leave things in the hands of an animation studio you trust.

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Allen Rafiee

Allen is the Senior blog writer at Dream Farm Studios. In the five years he has been writing for startups and big companies, he challenged himself to learn all he could about digital marketing and finally became a key member of the Marcom team. When he's not doing all of that, you can find him teaching different languages, learning new recipes, and watching cool documentaries about, well, anything!

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