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3 Brands That Are Scoring Big With World Cup Storytelling

3 Brands That Are Scoring Big With World Cup Storytelling

The 2014 FIFA World Cup inspired storytelling from all industries.In content marketing, storytelling is vital for connecting with your audience and making your content truly stand out. Although I’m not the biggest sports fan (don’t tell my soccer-obsessed Polish father), I can definitely appreciate a great content strategy when I see one. 

Events such as the 2014 FIFA World Cup inspire brand creativity and extraordinary content, and that is something worth recognizing.

Let’s take a look at a few examples of incredible World Cup storytelling:

Coca-Cola’s “This Is the World’s Cup”

Coca-Cola did a fantastic job of creating an emotional and powerful video in support of the FIFA World Cup. The video takes you through the journey of athletes from various countries, and they discuss how soccer has affected their lives. One example was a young man from Ōtsuchi, Japan, who said, “The waves may have washed away our town, but football gave us the courage to go on.”

This two-minute video is worth watching:

When creating content, pulling from real-life experiences helps encourage audience engagement. Share your expertise, relate to your readers, and explain what you did right or wrong and how they can learn from your examples.

Taking your content from blah to amazing will shine a spotlight on your company when readers find your content. twitter_blue Provoke emotion and thought, and give them a reason to remember your message. Over time, your company’s credibility will grow, and people in your industry will consider you a knowledgeable influencer.

Listerine’s #PowerToYourMouth

I’m a major advocate for solid Twitter campaigns. As an official 2014 FIFA World Cup sponsor, Listerine created the Twitter handle @ListerineGlobal to promote its campaign.

If you look at the timeline, its tweets vary between English and Spanish, and an ad accompanies most of them. The account currently has more than 10,000 Twitter followers and is seeing quite significant engagement. I’d have to say the “Colombi-AHHH! #PowerToYourMouth” ad is probably my favorite.


When creating content, Twitter is a great way to get your community involved. You can use high-quality images (or graphics, if they make sense for the campaign) to make your posts stand out — a tactic that has been shown to increase social media engagement by 120 percent. For capturing images on your phone, consider a few of my favorite tools

By creating content around timely events that make sense for your industry, readers will see you as a leader in your space and consider your brand a valuable resource. twitter_blue

The New York Times’ “The World’s Ball”

I need to give major kudos to The New York Times for this campaign. Not only does it include numerous facts about the history of soccer ball designs in past World Cup tournaments, but the graphics are also completely interactive. That’s two points for The New York Times. 


As you work to create content for your company blog or external publication, a high level of creativity and knowledge will set your content apart from your competitors’. This is the foundation for a successful piece of gated content.

Gated content allows you to gather information about your audience while offering something of value to them. twitter_blue It’s important to make this content visually appealing and full of quality information. 

Here are the most interesting facts I learned from “The World’s Ball”:

  • Back in the day, soccer balls were designed with heavy laces, which were later removed to make headers less painful. The Superball Duplo T, introduced in 1950, was the first World Cup ball without laces.
  • In 1970, the Telstar Durlast was designed to be television-friendly, which explained its black-and-white color scheme. According to the article, “The enduring black-and-white pattern was said to improve visibility on black-and-white sets.”
  • The Brazuca by Adidas is the official ball for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Tips for Adding Storytelling Elements to Your Content 

I never would have guessed that an article about soccer balls could be so entertaining. That’s the power of great storytelling: It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. twitter_blue When you pull real ideas, anecdotes, and examples from your own experiences, you show your audience you can relate to them. This connection (and your quality information) will keep them coming back again and again.

Consider these tips when adding stories to your content:

  • Think back to smart conversations. Mull over interesting conversations or experiences from the last month or two. What problems arose within your company or with clients? Did you have an enriching conversation with a friend that taught you a valuable lesson? These experiences make the best topics because they actually happened, and you can offer firsthand advice based on how these events turned out.
  • Share personal insights. Aside from work-related lessons, why not write about personal insights you’ve gained outside the office? Our CEO, Kelsey Meyer, is well-known for writing about her love of reading and her boyfriend’s beekeeping adventures. She doesn’t have to offer her personal insights, but by explaining how these things inform her work, readers can relate to her and internalize her advice.
  • Divulge your mistakes. Nobody’s perfect, and no matter how good your intentions, you will inevitably make a mistake with a client, incorrectly predict an industry development, or botch a work-related project. These mistakes are prime opportunities to learn, and they make great content. Share your reactions, emotions, and most importantly, how you fixed your mistake. Your audience will like you even more for revealing your human side.

Engaging your audience with timely, creative content that uses effective storytelling techniques helps your community connect with you and sets your content apart from all the noise. It shows you’re human and builds brand affinity. Spark real conversations with your content, and you’ll score big with your audience.

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About Maya Szydlowski Luke

Social media is my happy place. My best days are spent discovering trends about coffee, health, content strategy, and fashion, 140 characters at a time. Let's connect! @MayaSLuke


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