Virtualization Lends Wings To Social Media In Building World Festivals

In his column Media Mantras, Annurag Batra highlights how social media tools along with virtualization can prove to be a big game-changer for brands on a global scale

14 Jul, 2014 by admin

Virtualization has emerged a strategic initiative for companies looking to showcase their products. Many do so in order to work more efficiently and keep a needed system up and running at all times, a strategy to save money and maximize resource utilization. As Adidas officials say, “Going online brings huge improvements to both efficiency and convenience for the retailer and the overall service level.”


Virtualization & social media

Though both virtualization and social media may not seem to have a lot in common, companies believe social media tools in the world of virtualization can be a big game changer.


Experts are of the view that the key to manage virtualization systems could lie in social media. This is because the technologies of the media provide scale and makes it possible for us to reach a global audience. Besides, both dive from the physical into the abstract, virtual world. Another advantage is that while traditional media typically requires specialized skills and training, most social media does not.


With a deluge of data flowing through social media, tools like Facebook, Twitter, Google and others are doing their part to strengthen platforms. “Each platform is unique in its use,” says Josh Crick, Director of David&Goliath’s digital business.


World Cup 2014

Soccer fanatics had been waiting for the World Cup 2014, one of the biggest sports extravaganzas around the globe. The craze of the World Cup has been reinforced this year with a record number of blogs, hashtags, posts and mentions on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.


“Facebook will see considerable content creation but Twitter is going to be the big winner and I’m confident we will see new tweet volume records for the platform,” predicted Crick. The important thing about the World Cup is its ability to create a sense of connection through shared experiences. It is a social event at heart. From tweets and hashtags, the current World Cup has elevated notions of connectedness and shared experience to new levels, experts say.


“It’s live, it’s public and it is controversial so we are set up to expect this to be possibly the biggest Twitter event in history,” says Lewis Wiltshire, head of global partnerships at Twitter UK. According to Variety, since the beginning of June, the catchphrase “World Cup” has had nearly 20 million mentions worldwide. It has been mentioned almost 70 million times. The fest garnered over 4.75 lakh mentions in its first week of launch. Experts predict that it will not only be the most ‘social’ World Cup to date, but the most social event to date, far outstripping the last World Cup in 2010 in South Africa.


Game-changing opportunity

For global consumer brands, the quadrennial football fest is a game changing opportunity to showcase their products on social media. Many brands have a lot riding on this opportunity. Marketers are also waging millions of dollars on the global exposure. The main battle is being fought between official FIFA World Cup sponsor Adidas and arch-rival Nike Inc. Adidas has gone #allin, giving double meaning to the hashtag of choice for its World Cup campaign. “This is the largest, holistic product and marketing offensive we’ve ever had in soccer,” says Lia Vakoutis, head of digital at Adidas America.


Nike is already trouncing Adidas in this area. Its ‘Winner Stays’ ad, the second in its ‘Risk Everything’ 2014 football campaign, has attracted more than 70 million YouTube hits even before the match began.  Coca-Cola has launched its biggest ever marketing campaign around FIFA 2014 with a social theme at its heart. ‘The World’s Cup’ campaign invites the world to celebrate football as a social good. In India, Sony, the official World Cup TV partner, expects 25% additional growth in TV sales during the event, while Panasonic forecast a growth of 50% this June-July.


Adidas India rolled out a World Cup specific jersey, and has started selling team kit packs for its sponsored teams including Spain, Germany and Argentina as well as street wear labels like retro team jerseys.


PRWeek quotes Steve Martin, CEO at M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment saying the growth has obviously been fuelled by the explosion of social media in recent years. “Social media are in a steep early growth phase. There are more platforms and many more people on them than ever before, so it is hardly surprising that the reach and therefore the usefulness of social media to brands is greater than before,” he says.



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