Nike’s “Write the Future” 3-minute video campaign has attracted more World Cup-related mentions than Adidas, Coca-Cola, Sony and Visa, according to a new report by Nielsen. The video, which we discussed when it first launched, has created significantly more online buzz – based on an analysis of blogs, message boards and social networking websites – and developed more of an association to the World Cup than any other brand’s efforts to date.
This is particularly impressive given that Nike is not an official sponsor of the World Cup – yet has generated more than twice as many references in relation to the tournament than official sponsor Adidas. Adidas had the second highest level of mentions, and therefore share of World Cup buzz, with official sponsors Coca-Cola, Sony and Visa filling out the top five slots.
Adidas struck back with a TV ad featuring David Beckham, Snoop Dogg, Daft Punk, Noel and Ian Gallagher and a very young Harrison Ford – recreating the famous cantina scene from the 1977 Star Wars film. The ad launched on June 5th; given Nielsen’s research only covers the period May 7 through June 6th, the buzz factor generated by the campaign is not yet reflected in Nielsen’s report.
It will be interesting to see who fares better in terms of World Cup-related sales, Nike or Adidas, both over the immediate and longer-term. Nike has more ground to cover in the sport of football/soccer – particularly in Europe – given Adidas’ history in the market. It will also be interesting to see how the value of official sponsorships like this can be defended over the long-run, given that the mere association developed by Nike – at least as measured by online buzz – could exceed that of a pricier, official sponsorship. Will properties become even more difficult to negotiate creative with, given their potentially weaker value?