Beauty Players’ Fit Response to World Cup-Stirred Opportunities

The Brazil 2014 World Cup has undoubtedly captured the attention of a truly global audience, and most fmcg players have been on the ball about capitalising on the event. Many of them have aligned their global brands to Brazilian or football-themed product launches. In the beauty and personal care industry, colour cosmetics players have been especially quick to respond, but many other product categories have adjusted their advertising campaigns to benefit from the attention of the many millions of spectators watching the games. The response to the heightened interest in Brazilian/World Cup-themed products from beauty companies has not lacked speed, volume or creativity. Although the event has created an unmissable brand-building opportunity for most players, it is not likely to have a lasting impact on category growth forecasts in beauty and personal care.

FIFA has released a number of statistics indicating the size of the global audience. On the last night of the tournament, the World Cup final game between Germany and Argentina was watched by a staggering record global audience of one billion. The opening game between Brazil and Croatia on 12 June was watched by 42.9 million people on Brazilian network TV Globo, FIFA said, making it the most watched sporting event of the year in Brazil. Another record was broken in Japan; the national team’s game against Ivory Coast was seen by 34.1 million on Japanese TV channel NHK, double the size of the audience watching its next biggest sports broadcast this year.

Novel Product Developments Popular in Colour Cosmetics

Colour cosmetics accommodated the Brazilian theme best. For example, Sally Hansen launched a Carnival and Samba-themed nail polish collection, advertised to ‘look like the streets of Rio during Carnival’. More upscale nail polish brand, OPI, by Coty also rolled-out a Brazil Collection this summer. Louis Vuitton’s Sephora Samba eyeliners collection was launched in five colours, in Caipirinha Dreamin’, Banana Split, Eccentric Diva, Romantic Comedy, and Summer Cruise.

The World Cup has triggered a boost in demand for novel colour cosmetics especially, which is a much-needed opportunity in Europe and North America, where retail value growth forecasts for the category are expected to remain at under 1% CAGRs up to 2018. Despite innovation being strong, the nail products category in particular has a bleak outlook; in North America, the category is expected to contract at a 3% CAGR over 2013-2018, whilst in Australasia, growth will remain at close to zero over the same period.

Latin America and the Middle East and Africa consistently deliver the fastest growth in colour cosmetics across all product categories, with both regions expected to see colour cosmetics expand at 5% CAGRs at constant 2013 prices between 2013 and 2018.

These limited edition offerings for the one month of the World Cup are unlikely to have a significant impact on the colour cosmetics market’s prospects; however, those brands that are quickest and best at responding to the buzz stirred up by the event may enhance consumers’ brand awareness and loyalty. It is a good opportunity for brand building in front of a global audience.

Creative Advertising Campaigns Generate Strong Brand and Product Awareness

In addition to novel product developments, a number of creative advertising campaigns have been launched as a quick reaction to the events watched by millions on the football pitch.

Unilever took an opportunity to launch a tactical campaign for its Sure deodorant brand, mimicking the white spray that referees have been using in World Cup matches to draw lines on the pitch. A printed press advertisement was created that ran in UK newspapers and on social media sites: ‘Some Cans Leave White Marks. Sure doesn’t’ alongside a photo of a referee using the spray from the tournament. The spray has been something of a talking point in the UK media, as the World Cup has brought it international attention.

Philips’s Sonicare AirFloss product meanwhile exploited the attention stirred up by Luis Suarez’s bite into Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder during the Uruguay vs Italy game. The day after the game, full-page printed advertisements appeared in the UK press featuring the product image alongside the text: ‘Perfect if you have a bit of Italian stuck between your teeth.’

This oral care device has been available in the UK since 2012, but the level of consumer awareness it has gained with this creative advertising campaign has been significant. In the UK, professional sophistication is a growing trend in oral care, while the dental floss category is set to contract by a 4% CAGR (2013-2018) in retail value terms. Other oral care appliances, which Sonicare AirFloss competes in, is expected to record a 3% CAGR over the same period. Philips’s timely and creative advertising campaign is aiming to enhance consumer demand for oral care appliances which offer dentist-like care at home.

Similar to novel product developments, clever promotional activities by global brand owners are not likely to have a major impact on category growth prospects, but they are undeniably useful advertising tools served up by the global popularity of the World Cup.