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BizReport : Advertising : July 10, 2014

Advertisers that take football too seriously risk alienating female fans

A study by London-based research agency The Nursery found that World Cup advertisers may have turned off female football fans by taking the sport too seriously.

by Helen Leggatt

The World Cup is not just watched by men - 38% of women in the UK plan to watch the upcoming finals and enjoy the sporting event due to its inclusivity.

However, focusing too much on the serious side of the game and its players turns off women leading them to believe the event and the sport is over-hyped and tedious.

These feelings impact on the effectiveness of advertising. World Cup advertisers that focus too much on the game's celebrities - such as Nike and Adidas - aren't as well received by women.

"There are plenty of women who enjoy the World Cup but they often think that players are overpaid and they are cynical about the game itself," said Alice Morgan, researcher at The Nursery. "These sports brands can risk alienating the significant proportion of the female population that is watching."

The brand that has made the biggest impression on British women during this World Cup is Durex. By not taking the sport too seriously, and focusing on the often outlandish diving shenanigans of players, the "Don't Fake It" ads were a big hit. The humor of Carlsberg's ads and inclusivity of McDonald's' ads also got a big tick from women.

Yet, many of the big global brands advertising during the football tournament missed a trick by buying into the hype of Ronaldo and other star players and, says Morgan, "missed the power of the World Cup to bring people together and have fun".

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: advertising, brand marketing, FIFA world cup, gender study

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