CLOSE-UP: PERSPECTIVE; Coke is wiping the floor with the rest in Euro 96 stakes

By STEFANO HATFIELD, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 14 June 1996 12:00AM

So how’s the advertising tournament so far? Unsurprisingly, there’s lots about football, relying on one of two systems: either they are full of sub-Nike grandiosity with fireworks going off above packed terraces, gritty black-and-white fan footage and lots of nifty interplay between support media (Coca-Cola), or they celebrate the incompetent, semi- tragic side of the game (after all, we are British), but in a lumbering, old-style, un-Loaded sort of way (McDonald’s).

So how’s the advertising tournament so far? Unsurprisingly, there’s lots

about football, relying on one of two systems: either they are full of

sub-Nike grandiosity with fireworks going off above packed terraces,

gritty black-and-white fan footage and lots of nifty interplay between

support media (Coca-Cola), or they celebrate the incompetent, semi-

tragic side of the game (after all, we are British), but in a lumbering,

old-style, un-Loaded sort of way (McDonald’s).



They’re fine in their own way. McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are at least

noticeable. Coke has a particularly fine poster out at the moment: ‘If

they could transfer fans, how much would you be worth?’ - and they say

Americans (it’s a Wieden and Kennedy, Amsterdam creation) don’t

understand soccer.



Coke seems to own football at the moment, much more so than the likes of

Nike, Reebok or Adidas. While its marketing machine dominates the media,

it shared the honours with Snickers in and around Wembley for the

England-Switzerland opener, and, I suspect, the other grounds. Snickers

had ambient media everywhere and made the blindingly simple move of

passing free mini-bars to all and sundry, a gambit that was obviously

not open to Vauxhall.



At the risk of voicing yet another adland heresy, hasn’t Nike’s

performance been disappointing?



The tone of its work is horribly macho, and because two of its principal

stars, Cantona and Ginola, aren’t playing, the impact of their

contribution is greatly weakened. Some fans were even saying the Nike

ads were naff, particularly as Maldini, its fall-back poster star, is

not instantly recognisable. Nike? Naff?



Couldn’t the posters have been changed? I know it’s all planned many

months ahead, but perhaps they should have just done it.



And the other official sponsors? As our recent feature made clear,

having spent their pounds 2.5 million for the honour, they need to spend

the same again to let anyone know. Mastercard and McDonald’s deserve

honourable mentions, and Vauxhall has the TV sewn up, but must be

praying that ITV’s dire opening performances improve. However, what of

Canon, Carlsberg-Tetley, Fuji, JVC, Philips, Umbro?



It’s a relief to be able to pontificate for once, knowing I’m bang in

the target market. Fifteen million pounds spent by the above big six,

and so far I’ve not even been worried. Perhaps it’s down to consistency.



Apart from Coke, there’s one other advertiser you can’t fail to notice

at the moment. The industry may not like Renault’s Nicole, but the

public do. They will have noticed that Papa is not in the latest

commercial. The new Clio has moved on. As the England team has already

discovered, everyone has to.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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