A view from Ivan Pollard

Perspective: Why England really won the World Cup; for creativity in ads

Over the past few weeks, I have been lucky enough to be travelling to exotic places such as South Africa, Somerset, Saint Paul and Stockholm.

Wherever I have found myself, I turned on the television before I turned in for the night. Not for the obvious reason but for the Fifa World Cup. This is my 11th and I am still dedicated enough to watch every match and still dumb enough to believe England are going to win.

One outcome of feasting on football during this glorious global festival is that you get to see some of the biggest ads in the world. Beers, sporting goods, electronics, finances, cereal, cars - you name it, they all have a go.

Fifa has six global partners, eight sponsors and a host of national supporters (you will do well to name them all: test yourself and then win a bonus point if you can name the company that paid lots of money to have its name on the fourth official's board). These are the recognised ones - a total of around 30 companies depending on your market - but more than 200 others also leverage the tournament.

Doubtless you saw much of this feeding frenzy yourself. For me there was the great (Nike, Coca-Cola), the good (Visa, McDonald's) and the strange (Hyundai, Pringles).

If England had made it to the final, there would have been an estimated extra £1.5 billion spent on all things associated with watching football. I don't know what winning the World Cup does to a national economy, but I do know that the associations made through such an event can last a lifetime. My first World Cup was 1970 in Mexico and I still think Esso is the best petrol station in the world and I still only ever drink Coke because it is synonymous with brilliant summers, sunshine and happiness.

In Europe, during the Fifa World Cup, sales of televisions jump around 20 per cent versus the norm for this time of year. You can see why Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic and all the others hurried to get their new 3D TVs to market.

I saw a TV ad for 3D TVs in almost every country I went to.

I saw fish and butterflies and acrobats come flying out of TVs; I saw giant kittens and waterfalls; I saw famous athletes and artists fall flat on their faces. One ad really hooked me and made me think I should get a new TV.

I loved the Sony ad. Brilliant, simple and with a touch of genius. The ghosted image is such a simple device to make me think I am missing out. Sure, it is the generic but the clever people at Sony captured it and nailed it for me in a way that makes me think they translate the same genius into the way they make their TVs and, by extension, that it must be worth paying a little extra for one.

So in one way, England did win the World Cup for me with Anomaly (and CHI a worthy runner-up). We might not be able to play football but we can still write great ads.

- Ivan Pollard is a partner at Naked Communications.

Topics