As the first round of matches are coming to a close, tension is mounting, and for some countries a chance in the knockout stage has already been swept away with the discarded hot dog papers and empty drink cans. Talking of drink cans, I can guarantee that those finished cans will have a Coca and a Cola on it. This soft drinks company are everywhere and on everything this World Cup; when I am out and about in Durban I can turn 360 degrees and guarantee I will see the famous logo somewhere or in someone’s hand. As the group leaders edge that bit closer to the golden trophy, I can tell you whose winning so far… this brand.
What has amazed me so far about Coca-Cola’s World Cup presence is the sheer scale of it. There are the impressive branded fans parks, the around-the-world Coca-Cola World Cup trophy tour, the constant stream of TV advertising, the Coca-Cola banners that pop up under the score during the matches, and around Durban there are banners on buildings, Coca-Cola portable kiosks, vuvuzelas, makarpas… the list is endless.
For me though the most poignant aspect of Coca-Cola’s World Cup take-over is the way the brand has actually taken over! “Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh”… I don’t go a day without hearing Wavin’ Flag sang by K’naan. It is officially the un-official official World Cup song! It has risen to the top of music charts around the World… check out the version featuring will.i.am and David Guetta. I feel a bit sad for Shakira and Freshly Ground who actually sing the Fifa World Cup official song, but hey we just like waving our flags too much.
I am not the only one who feels that warm fuzzy feeling of pride when they hear this song, the World Cup has been incredible so far, and this song epitomises the excitement the event has brought to South Africa. Wavin’ Flag (the celebration mix) pays homage to the joy of celebration and how we express this through dance, or however we choose to celebrate. The version of the song we all know is a remix specially recorded by K’naan for the tournament and as part of Coca-Cola’s global marketing campaign. The Coca-Cola jingle… “Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh” was added into the mix to ensure when we wave our flags we think of the brand.
The sheer excitement this song has created and the way it encapsulates the joy of the World Cup is remarkable… especially as it is a brand, a gargantuan multi-national corporation, who has put the song together. I actually feel that my World Cup experience has been sponsored by Coca-Cola, but hey I don’t really mind because their presence is adding to the fun, not getting in the way. When a brand is able to generate such a positive response to, let’s face it another engineered advertising campaign, it goes to show what can be achieved when brands create stories that are really worth telling. In this case, the Coca-Cola story of finding your own celebration this Word Cup has literally persuaded the whole world to sit up and listen.