With the start of a new northern hemisphere football season the game is already attracting more than its fair share of headlines, including lots that are none too complimentary.
Once again players are in the spotlight for (choose one or more options) bad behaviour, being paid so much that their clubs are going bust and not being very good in the first place (or at least as good as they and their ever-optimistic employers think they are).
So does the beautiful game actually help anyone?
Kraft has been running a mega-promotion in Indonesia through Saatchi Connect, pushing its Biskuat Macan ‘energy’ biscuit by inviting thousands of youngsters to compete for the 50 places in its Champion’s Academy and a place in a representative youth team. Its football partner is UK club Arsenal and the team took part in Arsenal’s big youth tournament in the summer.
Larasati Moerdijat, of Saatchis in Indonesia which handles Biskuat Macon, explains why she thinks the campaign is a good thing, and not only for Kraft.
“We were looking for a sport that is close to the heart of Indonesians and finally chose football as this is the most popular sport in Indonesia. You tend to see people (kids and adults) playing football wherever an empty field is available.
” We actually started with an above-the-line campaign to introduce the brand belief that there’s a champion in every child through our ‘Unleash Your Potential’ campaign in 2009. As we wanted to bring alive ‘Unleash’ and engage the consumer directly, the Champion’s Academy was created and the 2009 success encouraged us to make Champion’s Academy a yearly happening.
“Campaigns like this are good in any environment where talent can be nurtured. This was created in Indonesia for young people who are yearning for opportunities to show what they are capable of – and I’m referring particularly to those who are talented but have few avenues to showcase their talent.”
So is it ‘good works’ or branding?
“We’re always looking to extend the customer experience where we can. We’ve done quite a number of consumer activation projects for our other clients from various categories. The concept is always unique to the clients’ needs and generally originates from the main branding campaign.
“And we measure the success of the campaign in the same way we do others, usually a combination of numbers of participants, the PR coverage, and effect on sales.”
A bit of both then.