December 16, 2022
By Meaghan Walsh
This year, millions of soccer fans from around the world tuned in to watch their favorite teams compete in Qatar at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The tournament presents unique marketing opportunities for companies, as the games attract a global audience. Looking exclusively at FIFA program data from the first game on November 20th to the beginning of the knockout stage on December 3rd, AdImpact will examine the World Cup advertising trends and messaging during one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year.
Overall, there were 321K ad airings during FIFA programs for the preliminary matches of the tournament in the United States. The most airings during this time occurred on the first day of the knockout stage on December 3rd, with 32.3K airings. In contrast, the lowest airings per day happened on the first day of the tournament on November 20th with 4.6K airings. This is understandable given that the highly anticipated and consequential game between the Netherlands and U.S. occurred on December 3rd whereas only one game was scheduled on November 20th between Qatar and Ecuador. Interestingly, November 25th, Black Friday, had the second most airings overall with 31.7K, when the U.S. faced off against England.
The most popular time for World Cup advertising was during the daytime slot, which is unsurprising given the consistent 10am and 2pm start time of games on the East Coast of the United States. The top three distinct advertisers by airings during this time were Fox at 41.2K, Google Pixel at 11.2K, and FIFA World Cup with 11.1K. In 2011, Fox acquired the airing rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, putting them at the forefront of advertising.
Another popular advertiser, Google Pixel, has one of the most aired ads since the start of the tournament. Qatar had an ad with 10K airings, followed by Google Pixel with 8K, and New Balance at 6K. Two prominent themes emerge in these ads: unity and celebrities. Both Qatar and Google Pixel focus on how the World Cup helps us connect to one another. New Balance and Google Pixel each have stars in their spots. Google Pixel features soccer star Megan Rapinoe whereas New Balance features music personality Jack Harlow and NBA All-Star Kawhi Leonard.
Technology advertisements like Google Pixels' dominated the airwaves between 11/20 and 12/3, with Tech & Telecommunications as the top airing World Cup advertising category at 86K airings. After that, Consumer Packaged Goods (42K) and Restaurants (25K) were second and third. Within those categories, the top advertisers during those two weeks are Google Pixel, Walmart, T-Mobile, Coca-Cola, Chipotle, and Panera Bread.
With so much attention gravitating towards the World Cup, it is no surprise advertisers are making their mark this year during its coverage. The tournament has seen record-breaking viewership as fans have tuned to cheer for their favorite teams. Despite the United States’ elimination, there is still mass interest ahead of the final on Sunday. As the tournament concludes, AdImpact will continue to track World Cup advertising.
For more information on advertising for large sporting events, check out our analysis of viewership trends during the 2022 Masters tournament.