WEDNESDAY 11 JUL 2018 4:02 PM


For brands trying to capitalise on major cultural moments there are two options. First is to sponsor the relevant event, team or brand. The second is to craft a suitable brand alignment that has shareability on social media. One of the gold standards for the latter was Oreo’s ‘You can still dunk in the dark’ tweet from the 2013 Super Bowl.

However, some of the challenges involved include getting sign-off from higher ups in the organisation, legal teams and creative teams as well as adhering to sponsorship regulations set by sporting organisations or competitions. For brands that do manage to create content that excels in this environment, though, the payoff can be worth the effort by aligning the brand to the cultural moment through communications.

During the World Cup, brands have endlessly attempted this and today, with England’s semi-final match on in a few short hours, every bar, pub and sports retailer is pushing consumer communications related to the World Cup. For one brand, though, the alignment offered an opportunity too good to miss.

Josh Plimmer, Sure brand manager for Unilever UK & Ireland, says, “We as a brand have been as excited as everybody about how well the tournament is going for England. With the buzz around Gareth Southgate building and in particular his waistcoat, blue shirt and dry armpits, the opportunity seemed too good to miss. As a brand we have operated in football over a number of years building up our credibility in this space. This creative was one we thought would appeal to the England fans who are as passionate about the team’s success as we are.”

Unilever’s deodorant brand Sure has unveiled a tie-in to England manager Gareth Southgate’s now-iconic waistcoat, no jacket style. The copy on its creative reads ‘Waistcoat? Blue Shirt? No sweat, gaffer.’ followed up by the hashtag #NeverMoreSureItsComingHome.

And surprisingly, it works. The brand – with relevance to an active, male audience – has put a cultural moment, and emerging meme, to work in a manner true to its purpose. Sure puts exercise and a commitment to dry armpits at the core of its brand. The home page of Sure’s men’s consumer site immediately offers up a photo of exercising men with the copy, ‘Get up. Get moving.’ That alignment carries through Sure's ongoing exercise-based content and brand purpose.

Though England's victory won’t be a sure thing until the end of the semi-final match tonight, Sure at least has ensured its brand alignment with exercise and sport remains strong through the World Cup.