Timing is Everything: How Wish won World Cup Marketing

In both soccer and digital marketing, timing is everything. So while everyone this week is celebrating France’s win against Croatia, for superior timing and coordination, I am calling the winner of the World Cup’s digital marketing for the same reasons: Wish, the online e-commerce platform.

Timing things correctly in marketing can often be extremely challenging. There are many variables to take into account. The ‘golden’ moment is when a potential customer is most emotionally receptive to the message about the value of the product or service.

During the last few weeks, with the world in the midst of the hype and excitement of the biggest soccer tournament in the world, Wish, with London-based brand agency Archer’s Mark, published their #TimeOnYourHands marketing campaign ads:

If you haven’t seen them (there are 4 or 5 of them that I know of), they feature soccer stars from countries not in the World Cup (case above, Gigi Buffon is from Italy, which didn’t qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years). They show the players at home, discovering hobbies through buying products on Wish. The ads were seen on TV and on social media.

While there are a few aspects of the campaign that I think make for excellent marketing, the main reason I think Wish very cleverly nailed this its Emotional Timing.

There is something very interesting that happens when we watch team sports. When the team you are supporting is doing well, you get something of an emotional high from watching your team’s success. The phenomenon is called “Basking in Reflected Glory.” We feel better about ourselves because we have tied up our own identity, temporarily, with the winning team. We feel more capable, because, in an abstract way, we feel as if we “won,” even though we are nowhere near the soccer pitch.

It is in this space, filled with this enabling euphoria, we find Wish’s commercials.

What really struck me is that, through use of soccer stars and some simple, non-verbal storytelling, it engages how you, their audience, can do something creative and fulfilling that rides that feeling of success. My team is winning, but I also “win” by baking something amazing (just like Gigi). You may not even know who many of these celebrities are; what you capture is their expression of enthusiasm, creativity, and sense of accomplishment.

Have you seen another ad or content piece that you think nails its emotional timing?