THE WORLD CUP OF PACKAGING

by Tim Sykes

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As the world anticipates the football World Cup in Russia, brand owners prepare to monetise consumer engagement with promotional product runs, keeping packaging design teams busy. We survey packaging from five continents, some examples more sophisticated than others, inspired by the festival of football.

Official sponsors of the FIFA World Cup™ Budweiser, Coca-Cola and McDonalds have of course invested heavily in their marketing. Budweiser has opted for relatively consistent global design, featuring limited-edition packaging which pairs the brand’s red with the iconic trophy to create a design aiming for potent shelf impact. The packaging also reinforces the association between Budweiser and World Cup in the eyes of consumers, intending to position Budweiser as the beer of choice for fans, 93 per cent of whom watch the football at home. The concept is available in multiple packaging formats – the most coveted of which will surely be the aluminium bottle.

 To complement this the packaging, Budweiser is also getting creative. In the UK, for instance, it has launched a two-hour delivery service in partnership with Amazon Prime Now, the chance to win tickets to the World Cup final using entry codes displayed on the packaging, and point of sale promotions at leading retailers.

To complement this the packaging, Budweiser is also getting creative. In the UK, for instance, it has launched a two-hour delivery service in partnership with Amazon Prime Now, the chance to win tickets to the World Cup final using entry codes displayed on the packaging, and point of sale promotions at leading retailers.

To complement this the packaging, Budweiser is also getting creative. In the UK, for instance, it has launched a two-hour delivery service in partnership with Amazon Prime Now, the chance to win tickets to the World Cup final using entry codes displayed on the packaging, and point of sale promotions at leading retailers.

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By contrast, Coca-Cola’s marketing campaigns are much more regionally driven. In Austria the drinks giant has released a series of cans depicting the backs of football shirts in various national colours. Each one in the series features a number and a nickname for the respective position on the field – from ‘Straight-A Keeper’ to ‘Goal Hanger’.

 The Japanese promotional packs aim to drive digital engagement with the promise of prizes.

The Japanese promotional packs aim to drive digital engagement with the promise of prizes.

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Meanwhile, in Mexico Coca-Cola has introduced a collection of miniature 'Mini-Mundialistas' souvenir bottles in conjunction with fellow FIFA sponsor McDonalds, celebrating nations involved in this summer’s tournament (and Italy).

In contrast to its carnivalesque packaging for Brazil 2014, McDonalds itself has pursued more restrained optics for the Russian World Cup, drawing on Russian iconography and echoes of folkloric graphic style:

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Non-affiliated brands are also cashing in on heightened enthusiasm for football. Heinz Tomato Ketchup looks to corner the World-Cup-barbecue-condiment market with the unoriginal but effective tactic of putting a ball on the label:

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Following a similar thought process, two vegetable businesses are targeting the Swiss World-Cup-snacking-tomatoes market with snack portion Schur®Star bags shaped like a football shirt.

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The Brazilian snack brand Yoki also riffs on the national shirt theme for its bags, and also provides a rigid bowl in the shape of a football cut in half:

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...On the other side of the Atlantic, the Nigerian Football Federation marked qualification for the tournament by issuing a customised celebratory champagne:

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Meanwhile, in the host nation, World Cup fever has steadily taken hold, with market research suggesting that products bearing the competition’s official logo are selling at five times the usual rate.

The vodka brand Tsarskaya has brought out a special edition bottle celebrating the national sport:

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Meanwhile, Russian company TAVR is one of those catering to the national mood, having launched a sausage-meat product shaped like a football.

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“We want to bring pleasure to everyone who is interested in sport,” executive director Aleksandr Remeta told the website unipack.ru. “This new product is an original and tasty souvenir which might prove indispensable while watching the match.”

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