Powerade’s 2014 World Cup Campaign Highlights Real Heroes

Courtesy of endomondo.com
Courtesy of endomondo.com

I wasn’t following the 2010 FIFA World Cup close enough to notice when advertising started appearing, but it looks like Powerade and other advertisers want to get a head start for the 2014 FIFA World Cup promotions.  With the World Cup starting in June, Powerade has already released FIFA World Cup commercials.  Here’s the full-length 60-second ad found on YouTube that features both professional and amateur soccer players, launched on YouTube more than a month ago.

This commercial happens to be the first time that Powerade has featured amateur soccer players in a global campaign.  The Powerade advertisement includes five amateur soccer players selected from the U.S., Spain, and Brazil.  These individuals star alongside Spain’s Andres Iniesta, who famously put scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup.  Since the tagline is “There’s Power in Every Game”, it makes sense to include other soccer players at different competition levels to help forge a stronger connection to the sport and to Powerade.

Similar to the Procter&Gamble “Thank You Mom” campaign where mothers of Olympic athletes were highlighted to add more context, bringing in amateur soccer players helps humanize the athlete and focus on how they train and prepare.  More importantly, it shines a light on the different adversities athletes must go through in order to attain success.  The spot brings this adversity even closer to home, weaving a story line where the amateur soccer players and Iniesta encounter similar  events during the course of their soccer game.  As one player is tripped during a game, so is Iniesta during one of his games.  As another player is training or resting to prepare for a soccer match, so too is Iniesta.

As a global campaign, there is customization that caters to the local geography.   Powerade has created different backstories for each of the amateur athletes to run in key geographies.  Each player has a different theme that Powerade showcases to help them find their inner power and overcome a challenging situation.  They are featured in a two-minute video where the athlete discusses the challenges they’ve had to personally overcome.  The feature ends with a callout to publicize the theme each athlete represents.  With the U.S.’s Nico Calabria, the common characteristic is “Power in Purpose”.  For Brazil’s Haboubakar Amadou Conde, this theme is translated as the “Power in Determination”.  Spain’s Erik Flores is presented as the “Power in Confidence”.  With Brazil’s Marcelo Lyras, it becomes “Power in Preparation”.  And for Spain’s Karlota Planas, the characteristic is “Power in Pushing Yourself”.  These videos indicate that “Power” is represented differently for each athlete, and conveys the message that everyone defines their motivation in a unique way.

In some ways, soccer is an escape from their personal struggles.  Within these feature videos, Powerade describes additional themes that athletes must “Power Through” to get to their current state.  Athletes continue to defy expectations and failure, in addition to overcoming challenges that deter them from pursuing their goals.

Here’s one of the struggles that Powerade highlights, that of Haboubakar Amadou Conde.  Conde had to overcome language barrier, failure, and homelessness in order to continue playing soccer.

As companies continue leveraging on emotion in their marketing campaigns, the key to success  lies in execution.  If executed perfectly, the beverage brand can foster a strong and genuine connection with many viewers.  I believe this campaign to be well-delivered and creates the emotional link Powerade wants to create.  Check out the Powerade YouTube channel for the other feature videos.

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