World Cup: Korean firms gear up for World Cup marketing

World Cup: Korean firms gear up for World Cup marketing

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is expected to spur domestic sales and help companies withstand dampened demand in the wake of the Sewol ferry sinking.

The global sports event is a good opportunity for consumer electronics companies to increase TV sales. Sales in World Cup years are usually 30 per cent higher than the previous year.

Though Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are not official sponsors of the 2014 tournament, they expect to reap similar benefits, and step up related marketing to make the most of World Cup fever. Both have unveiled large TVs equipped with special football modes.

Samsung Smart TV's football mode is designed to make users feel like they are in the middle of the action. The mode can be activated by pressing the hot key represented by a football ball icon on the remote control. Once it is turned on, the football mode adjusts the settings automatically. For example, the Stadium View enhances the vividness and sharpness of the grass of the stadium pitch to make it look greener, giving users a feeling of being right in the stadium.

Samsung has also launched a football-themed Galaxy 11 YouTube campaign to promote its Galaxy S5, Gear 2 and Fit devices, starring the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.

LG Electronics has unveiled its Ultra HD TVs this year to take aim at the World Cup. The TV provides high-quality sound on a special football mode, can store key game scenes easily in a "Time Machine," makes a cheering sound and displays cheering graphics, and produces firecracker effects. Its "save and edit directly" function is useful for highlighting captured screens.

LG Electronics has also released a new commercial for the Ultra HD TV that depicts the motions of Koo Ja-Cheol and Son Heung-min dynamically through a special filming technique.

Food industries are hoping to sell late-night meals through guerilla marketing. Guerilla marketing is a strategy wherein the advertisers associate themselves with a particular event without paying sponsorship fees.

Bakery companies are using images of football balls or the Red Devils, the nation's largest fan group for the nation's football team, instead of using the World Cup official logo directly.

Paris Baguette introduced two types of World Cup-themed cakes. The Red velvet cake is decorated with red horns, the symbol of the Red Devils, on cream cheese. It has also rolled out cakes with animation character Pororo playing football. Pororo is the most popular animation character among Korean kids.

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