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#WorldCup2014 – People Eating Up Suarez Real Time Content

June 27, 2014

Ok, bad joke, but amazingly I was going to write a post about what brands can do to cut through the noise of fans’ newsfeeds and take a deeper look at  #WorldCup2014 branded content, then on Wednesday #cannibal became a global trending topic, as Luis Suarez (allegedly) to a chunk out of Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder (quick gif replay here in case you missed it)

Even if you have not been watching the #WorldCup2014, you’ve probably heard about the incident and have to admire some of the creative ways brands took to engage in the conversation following the incident. Some of my favorite takes:

Best Suarez ContentBest Suarez Content

Best Suarez Branded Content

The Suarez incident allowed ‘brands to show, once again, that they’re “hungry” for real-time marketing opportunities’. Only real-time content allow brands to tap into the most relevant conversations your audience is having at any point in time, participate as part of that conversation, and add meaningfully to it by providing some emotion pay off or utility to your audience.  While the Suarez opportunity has gained the most traction, there are so many conversations happening on a day-to-day basis that the opportunities to create real-time content are never richer than during marquee events because of the scale and the volume of participation. Case in point, the game between Brazil and Mexico from June 16 resulted in a slew of great memes focusing on the performance of Guillermo Ochoa.



As per my previous post, #WorldCup2014 is already the biggest-ever global event for social media. Updated data from Facebook showed that “141 million users had posted 459 million interactions to their site during the first week of the World Cup. That’s more people than posted during this year’s Super Bowl, the Oscars, and the Sochi Winter Olympics, combined”. Brand content from sponsors and non-sponsors alike is making up a healthy slice of these interactions as everyone tries to get in on the action. Nike and Coca-Cola account for close to 660,000 mentions of the total 1.4 million tracked across Twitter for official sponsors after the first week. But the challenge in creating real-time content like the examples above is not easy.

Both from a structural and operational perspective, you need to align design teams, copywriters, and community managers in a process that allows them to jump on key opportunities and create content on the fly. Brands have to start by properly defining their personas in social spaces, how and what they will comment on with respect to real-time events/conversation, and the themes you want to play off of.  Without nailing down these basics, you risk running afoul of fans.

Following that, the process map below provides a guide on how content can be created within a 2 to 4 hours window:

Real Time Content Cycle

  1. Start with trend spotting. Look for trends that are relevant to your brand and would be appropriate for you to comment on. The key is to ensure that your brand injects value into the conversation and brings new perspectives to your audience.
  2. Once the trend is locked down, a quick brainstorm for ideas around content concepts and creative executions is useful. Use sites like Buzzfeed and Reddit as inspiration and for a check on what content is resonating with audiences at any moment in time.
  3. After the content is developed and posted, track the performance.  If it’s doing well, use a bit of your paid media budget to amplify it to drive reach and engagement.


If you are not quite ready for real-time content, planned content can still have a significant impact – with my next post providing tips for planned content at key events – whether large or small.  In the meantime, enjoy the best memes and branded content the Internet has to offer from #WorldCup2014.

Personally, I am still waiting to see some real-time content around Mexico’s Coach Miguel Herra.


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