The calls came in all shapes, sizes, decibels and howls.
Called “goal calls,” the consumer-generated videos were created by FIFA soccer fans to trumpet their favorite national teams in a promotion from Visa designed to drive awareness of its exclusive card sponsorship of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.
The videos were uploaded on the “Go Fans” YouTube channel, home base for the Visa promotion. Celebrities including Steve Nash (NBA star, Canada), Cafú (former soccer player, Brazil), Jorge Campos (former soccer player, Mexico), Tulio (soccer player, Japan) and Andres Cantor (sportscaster, Argentina) promoted their own “calls” and encouraged fans to do the same. Cantor provided an online tutorial on perfecting the art of the goal shout. This was the first time that Visa had relied on user-generated content to support a global sponsorship promotion.
“Fan attraction to the World Cup is manic,” says Steve Caputo, managing partner at Tenthwave. “The whole idea of fans being able to interact with their teams and the brand was important. User-generated content at that time was a very unique way for fans to take a personal stand with their teams and to do so in a global fashion.”
At the site, video watchers who came across a video that displayed a “golden ticket” saw a registration page pop up where they could enter the “Watch Your Way to Brazil Sweepstakes.” The grand prize: a trip to the 2014 FIFA World Cup or weekly $100 Visa gift cards. The sweepstakes and YouTube Channel ran in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Japan, and were supported by events where brand reps encouraged people to create their own “goal calls” right then and there. In the U.S., for example, street teams visited popular New York City restaurants and bars between June 12-19, 2010, to record “goooal” shouts from fans watching World Cup matches that were loaded to the “Go Fans” channel.
“Visa was looking to get eyeballs on the page,” Caputo says. “It was all about brand awareness and viewership. It blew out of the water in terms of awareness.”
And so it did, generating 7.5 million views from around the world and reaching No. 3 on Ad Age’s Viral Video chart.
Also in NYC, creative from the marketing campaign was featured on four of Times Square's largest digital billboards (ABC's SuperSign, American Eagle, NASDAQ and Reuters) during 11 2010 FIFA World Cup matches broadcast between June 12-July 12.
In the run-up to the FIFA World Cup games, Visa provided financial institutions and merchant partners throughout the world with FIFA-themed creative and marketing materials. The theme “Express your true colors with the easier way to pay” was displayed using all 32 FIFA qualifying -country flags and colors.
“People were very excited about the World Cup, the USA was winning—and FIFA, for the first time, was popular in the United States,” says Myra Stewart, vice president at Tenthwave. “Visa road that popularity on the wings of the U.S. soccer team.”