Budweiser focuses on positive change in global World Cup campaign

    • Budweiser, produced by Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), launched its FIFA World Cup campaign in 70 countries, making it one of the brand’s largest initiatives, per information shared with Marketing Dive.
    • “The World Is Yours To Take” features soccer superstars Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr. and Raheem Sterling. The campaign kicks off with a hero ad featuring the three athletes running with fans from around the world through the player tunnel onto the field.
    • Budweiser is also releasing a line of limited-edition cans featuring QR codes that give fans the chance to win prizes including match tickets and entry into Budweiser-hosted watch parties. The brewer will also be hosting onsite experiences and launching an NFT program.

    Budweiser has been heavily involved in soccer for years and is the official beer of the FIFA World Cup. With this year’s tournament being held in Qatar, a country where alcohol is tightly regulated, the AB InBev-owned brand is looking for ways to remain heavily involved, with initiatives in both the host country and abroad. Some of these efforts put the focus on the brand’s non-alcoholic beer, including in the tagline on the video ad and by serving Budweiser Zero in the stadiums. The overall push includes the U.S., where soccer does not enjoy the same popularity as in other countries like Brazil and the United Kingdom.


    “The FIFA World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and a really unique opportunity to bring all of the football fans around the world together once every four years,” said Todd Allen, global vice president of marketing at Budweiser, in an interview with Marketing Dive.

    The 45-second video ad opens with an overview of the significance of the player tunnel. Then, Messi, Neymar and Sterling are seen leading fans of different ages, nationalities, ethnicities and abilities through the tunnel as a remix of Tears for Fears’ hit “Everybody Wants to Rule The World” plays. Flags from various countries are waved as well as the LGBT Pride Flag. Its presence in the commercial stands out, as Qatar has come under scrutiny for its persecution of LGBT people.

    Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup has come under intense scrutiny, especially as reports of dire working conditions at stadium building sites and allegations of corruption emerge. However, these concerns have not deterred advertisers from taking part in the event. Coca-Cola launched a mobile campaign around the World Cup earlier this month.

    “Every host market provides unique opportunities and challenges and regardless of the location, we kick off planning two years ahead of the tournament to provide the best possible experience for fans attending the tournament in person,” said Allen. “And working with the largest sporting event, the FIFA World Cup, really allows us to meaningfully connect and impact our customers. And we believe that sport and football can be really a beacon of positive change in the world and we’re proud to celebrate the sport and the players and most importantly the fans.”

    QR codes are not new for Budweiser. In August, the beer brand launched a scavenger hunt, with QR codes leading fans to prize boxes filled with match tickets, signed memorabilia and other prizes. Budweiser has also begun to heavily invest in NFTs, recently launching an NFT with digital horse-racing company Zed Run.


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