Sports advertising in the era of Instagram and Facebook

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Did you know that… sports fans are not only interested in sports events alone, but also in how sports professionals have trained for them? Brands need to take this into account when thinking about the ways in which they’ll advertise their sponsorships.

Sporting events of our time, like the Super Bowl, Wimbledon, the Olympics, the World Cup – bring fans together, forming a connection and creating a strong sense of community, with shared feelings of passion, anticipation and devotion. The bond between fans and their sports heroes is a strong one and has a major opportunity in store for brands, too. They just have to understand the new ways to reach their audiences and connect with their love of sports and athletes.

Brand sponsorships today are not only about appearing on scoreboards or showing up in broadcasts. They also include being digitally present to reach fans through social media and on platforms where they are most likely to celebrate their favourite team’s victory, from WhatsApp messages to Facebook posts to Instagram Stories. Sponsorships today include features on top posts covering the game highlights on popular social media platforms, because these platforms have changed the way people engage with sports and offer a new kind of exposure to fans.

Every one in three social media users is following a sports account and most of the fans turn to Instagram to get to know their idol on a personal level. That’s where the opportunity lies for brands; creating shareable experiences that can be posted and reposted is key.  Brands now have this access to insights about engagement with their materials more than ever before.

Sports events and live games also make excellent content for social media posts, texts and boost searches. Stadiums are now using large screens to share fans’ Instagram Stories. Brizi, a brand that sells products to protect babies from air pollution, cleverly engaged with fans’ photo-sharing behaviours by photographing fans at an event in exchange for signing up for their app; then, the photos were delivered to the fans with a Brizi logo to share on social media platforms. and a clever idea from a company called Brizi is that fans who add their seat number into an app can have their pictures taken by an in-venue camera will take their picture, which will then be delivered to them with a brand logo on it, and will also be shared on numerous social media platforms. Orange SA and Emirates Airline tapped into this and created a desirable fan experience by having over 7,000 groups taking more than 14,000 photos at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament. 

As technology and venues are constantly improving, fans find more advanced ways of engaging with sport, and so should brands. The key to success is understanding how sports can support your brand and knowing how to take advantage of social media. 

Check out our services page to see how we can help!

[French] ICCO & Creative Culture’s International Business Handbook

ICCO Image

Together with ICCO (International Communications Consultancy Organisation), we've produced the PR International Business Handbook: The PR Practitioner's Guide to International PR. Inside this robust handbook, find hot campaigns across the world and insights on global markets.

To see the whole handbook, head here.

Dove’s “Show Us” Campaign


Dove’s “Show Us” Campaign deconstructing beauty stereotypes and shifting to an authentic representation of women

Talking about localisation… brands may not always succeed in speaking to their wider audiences. In the UK alone, 72% of women do not feel represented in media and advertising, which constantly feature unattainable beauty ideals.

Earlier this year, Dove decided to bring about some change in this trend by launching a campaign called ShowUs. The Project #ShowUs aimed to break beauty stereotypes and display the true diversity of women, both in media and advertising.

The beauty giant partnered with the two leading photo companies, Getty Images and Girlgaze, to create the world’s largest library. This features over 5,000 pictures taken by women and non-binary individuals who take pride in sharing their different stories through their photos.

This activation has given women from all over the globe the opportunity to break stereotypes and redefine beauty on their own terms.

According to the Dove research behind this activation, 7 women out of 10 feel constrained to meet unrealistic beauty standard as a result of the constant bombardment by media and advertising giants. This can eventually have an impact on their self-esteem and daily lives.

The Project #ShowUs contributed to raise awareness around the importance of valuing diversity in a way that other brands too started to follow suit.  Mothercare for example launched the "Body proud mums" campaign with mums proudly showing their post-birth mum bodies.


[French] Insights from Claire Randall


Creative Culture is delighted to count Claire Randall among its Advisory Board members. She joined at its inception in July, 2018. 

Claire is the Founder and CEO of Claire Randall Consulting (CRC), a global production consultancy with its headquarters in London.

Claire started out as a TV Producer at Saatchi and Saatchi London. In 1996 she formed the company to manage all TV production for Mars Europe, across all categories, on an exclusive basis. Mars is still one of CRC’s longest standing clients.

In 2000, CRC extended its coverage to the US and over the years has expanded into Asia Pac and the Middle East. CRC now works with a wide range of advertisers including adidas, McDonalds, Kellogg’s, Axa and Beam Suntory, helping them manage their production needs across broadcast, digital, print and radio.

Claire is a well-known figure in the industry, consulting and advising for industry bodies such as ISBA (Incorporated Society of British Advertisers), the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) and the ANA (Association of National Advertisers).

Today, Claire is sharing her thoughts on the cross-cultural communications industry.

Looking at the next ten years, what do you see as the key cultural challenges brands and agencies will face in the future? 

As content is expected to travel across more media touchpoints and extend to more markets (in order to maximise ROI on production costs) and the controls on this media are less stringent in terms of legal approvals and brand guardianship than TV, brands will struggle to control the content and in turn its relevance to local markets.

In addition, as advertisers force agency networks to close their local offices due to cost and centralise the localisation in London or Paris for eg – I question how strong the capabilities are for true cultural transcreation in some of these network production facilities. 

The ecosystem is so fragmented and the consumer has a shorter and shorter attention span, brands in general are struggling to deliver the sheer volume of content (in multiple formats) required, let alone ensure it’s culturally relevant.

Influencers – big challenge for brands to find relevant influencers in market who are vetted – big risk area for many brands.

Why did you decide to join the Advisory Board of CC? 

I don’t think there is enough focus on cultural relevance in advertising, which is actually critical to any campaign created for more than one market. You hear a lot about transcreation and versioning but I’m not sure that many of these companies that offer this service are actually checking cultural relevance as well as transcreation of copy. I think that advertisers assume this is part of the process but I’m not sure it’s consistent.

As a Company that works with many global advertisers, I thought I may be able to help highlight the importance of this function. I also thought I may be able to offer insight to CC on the challenges for large global advertisers. Finally, as a small, women-owned business myself, I wanted to support another one!

When you look at content production for example – where do you feel the greatest potential lies to improve the understanding of cross-cultural communications? 

I think the importance of companies like Creative Culture having a seat at the table when creative is first developed is critical. There are many times where we have seen supposedly ‘global’ scripts that have included dialogue or scenes that clearly would not work in certain markets. Often the lead creative agency is based in somewhere like NYC, where they have no understanding of localisation or local market challenges. If the agencies don’t have the capabilities or local office infrastructure to assess the viability of an idea and how it might travel, having a resource like Creative Culture to sense check creative / messaging is very valuable.

I think this is where the greatest potential lies – in making creative agencies aware of this resource that would allow them to pair down their own local resources and outsource to CC, in the face of their fees being challenged.

For the brands, perhaps it is consultants like us who make advertisers aware that this capability exists ?

What would you like to see the Advisory Board develop further and how might it add more value?

Sounds obvious but a way to ensure brands and agencies are aware of the risks of NOT having a process for this.

I think the greatest potential for growth for Creative Culture lies in partnering especially with creative agencies without a network, creative agencies that have a network but may have had to reduce their local teams due to fee pressure and with ‘in-house’ agencies.. 

From your own perspective, what would be the 3 do’s and don’ts of cross cultural communications?


  1. Do ensure campaign ideas are sense checked for local market viability prior to presenting them to the client.
  2. Do engage specialists, not just in translation but in real transcreation, otherwise all those months of campaign development and production spend could be wasted and even worse, could damage the brand’s credibility.
  3. Do audit campaigns retrospectively to ensure the messaging was on brand and relevant and what could have been improved.


  1. Don’t - assume anything – check that this is a key focus and someone is responsible for it at the agency or that you have taken direct control of this area.
  2. Don’t -  ignore the importance of this – poor ill considered communication could have a lasting and negative impact on your brands reputation in any market. Authenticity is key.
  3. Don’t - forget that communication is often global even when its not intended to be so because of the nature of communication today.

Hello Kitty is taking you on a tour of Asakusa

hello kitty, Asakusa. Tokyo Japan

Photo by Sanrio Co.,Ltd.

Did you know… that you can visit Asakusa on a Hello-Kitty-shaped rickshaw this weekend? Asakusa is a quaint district in Tokyo where rickshaw tours are quite popular. The Hello Kitty mobile is now in vogue in the neighbourhood after Sanrio opened a souvenir shop earlier this year. The Hello Kitty mobile is the result of the collaboration between Sanrio and  Kuruma-ya, an Asakusa-based rickshaw company.

Listen to more advertising trends in Japan on our podcast here.

TerraCycle’s new Loop service

TerraCycle's new Loop serviceDid you know… that TerraCycle has developed a new, on-line service where consumers can order their favourite products in reusable containers? Through this business model, consumers pay a $0.25-$10 deposit per product, and they are delivered in environmentally friendly, multi-use containers. When you’re done with the container, you simply send it back so that it can be washed, refilled, and eventually sent off to the next customer!

Dubbed ‘Loop’, the pilot project launched May 2019 in Paris, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. According to TerraCycle founder Tom Szaky, while the products may have a 10-15% price increase through the service, it’s more appealing than traditional recycling methods because it’s more convenient and requires less effort on the part of the consumer.

The new Loop service is really taking off, with big names like Unilever, Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble, Nestlé and French supermarket chain Carrefour all making their products available through the service.

For more on eco-friendly brands, click here.