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Facebook tells brands to bring their best game for 2020’s sports events

Marking the one-year countdown to one of the world’s most popular sporting events, Facebook has launched a new digital campaign to help advertisers prepare for what is also one of the most competitive marketing moments for brands. The 2016 games for instance, saw an increase of $2.71 billion in global advertising spend.

The Give Your Game Everything campaign, which launched on July 24, 2019, provides a playbook of insights, inspiration and best practices to help brands achieve stand out marketing performance. The idea for the global campaign was born in Asia Pacific (APAC) and led by Facebook IQ – the digital insights and market research arm of Facebook. It is a cross-functional effort with APAC Business Marketing and Creative teams at Facebook along with RD Content, a leading video content agency that specialises in multi-format content and British director, Jack Weatherley, who directed the campaign’s anthem film.

Weatherley has directed commercials for Nike and UEFA and worked with some of the world’s most celebrated athletes including Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Paula Radcliffe.

“When people seek connection, commiseration and community during international sporting events, they turn to Facebook’s family of apps and services. With the hype and anticipation surrounding the events, people will be expressing their fandom in ways that are newly possible. This presents a new world of opportunities for marketers, media planners and creative teams and we are excited to partner with them to build campaigns with impact,” said Sandra Marichal, Facebook IQ’s Marketing Insights Manager for APAC.

To understand how people use the Facebook family of apps and other social media during global and sporting events, Facebook IQ commissioned YouGov to survey 9,173 people aged 18-64 in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Russia, United States and the United Kingdom in April 2019. The numbers reveal interesting shifts in the way that sports fans consume their favourite sports and the multiple apps and content formats they engage with during global sporting events.

Globally, more than one in three people surveyed, follow global sporting events on both Facebook and Instagram.  More than 50 per cent of people surveyed who are on Facebook globally, said they would be more likely to engage with brands that advertise around the games.

Of those who are on both Facebook and Instagram, about half of those surveyed also use WhatsApp (45 per cent) and Messenger (53 per cent) to discuss global sporting events, the survey found.

The top three activities that people surveyed said they hadn’t yet done but would do in the upcoming games are:

  •  Viewing stories on Instagram (13 per cent)
  •  Following their favourite teams/athletes on Instagram (13 per cent)
  • Posting News Feed posts related to the games on Facebook (12 per cent)

Multi-app behaviour during sporting events is also on the rise. Of those surveyed:

  • 22 per cent joined Facebook Group for a global sports event
  • 52 per cent view Instagram stories about live sporting events
  • 35 per cent use Facebook messenger to discuss global sports events
  • 70 per cent read sports event-related posts on their Facebook News Feed
  • 40 per cent use WhatsApp to discuss global sports events
  • 20 per cent watched global sports events on IGTV
  • 38 per cent used hashtags to search for event updates on Instagram

Rapha Vasconcellos, VP of The Creative Shop at Facebook said these shifts in consumer behaviour create a big opportunity for brands to build ideas that connect with real people’s behaviour on the platform. “The ‘Give Your Game Everything’ campaign takes inspiration from the rigorous preparation of athletes to share what we know with brands who want to be agile, responsive and adopt a multi-channel approach to truly build meaningful connections with sports fans and communities,” he said.

Weatherley, who directed the anthem film featuring athletes said the project was a strong idea from its conception. “Capturing real athletic performance often makes for beautiful, powerful imagery. Having the freedom to interpret and realise the concept in a way which would do it justice made for both a satisfying creative process and result,” he said.

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