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The Best Big Brand Reactions to THAT Luis Suarez Bite

The sport of football is unrivalled in its ability to evoke passion and strong responses among fans and there is no greater advertising and marketing opportunity than the World Cup. Only a select group of big-name, and big-budget, firms can jump on the official sponsorship wagon and take advantage of the millions of viewers around the world, but there are always opportunities for other companies to get a piece of the action.

A global tournament like the FIFA World Cup throws up all sorts of chances for brands to reach out to potential customers in exciting, engaging and entertaining ways, and this time around the apparent biting of Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini by Uruguay player Luis Suarez was one of the big stories.

Of all the debate, discussion and drama that surrounded the incident, those that benefited were the firms that were on the ball, so to speak, and could react quickly and with insight and humour. This, of course, means having an active social media presence and a communications team that altered working hours to ensure opportunities could be seized as they arose.

With this event in particular, Twitter was buzzing with comedic and well-timed comments. Suarez has something of a reputation for using his teeth instead of his feet to help his team win on the pitch, and the World Cup incident is the third time he has been punished for biting opposing players, so it came as no surprise that the social network soon saw #Suarez rise to the top of the trending list.

But what was remarkable was the way some brands responded and took advantage of this unpredictable and of-the-moment event.

Both Bud Light and Listerine bought promoted tweets with the #Suarez hashtag. The beer brand used an image of a man attempting to bite the top off a bottle of Bud Light with the caption “Relax, they’re twist-off” and Listerine were on the ball thanks to the creation of a dedicated social newsroom at the start of the tournament. They tweeted “We recommend a good swish after grabbing a bite of Italian.”

Other brands to jump on the #Suarez bandwagon included Trident, Snickers, McDonald’s and Major League Baseball.

Snickers spoke direct to the player – mentioning him in a tweet saying “Next time you’re hungry just grab a Snickers.”

Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal tweeted “Biting is only okay when you’re made of cinnamon and sugar.”

And a gum manufacturer said “Chew Trident. Not soccer players.”

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