So all eyes will be on who does well in reaching out to the second screeners and raising their brand's consideration levels. For once, there's no risk of England going out so advertisers and every publican in the country can breathe easy until the knockout games begin (for England) next week.
However, while the national team has been playing on the UK's ad-free channel, the social media battle has already been heating up and 4C Insights has been looking at the brands that doing well through advertising on UK television. The researchers have been looking at overall sentiment across the entire World Cup period and then uplift in social media engagement for the five minutes after a brand has run a television ad.
The surprising winner is actually Screwfix, so far. The DIY chain has been running humorous idents with ITV that show a builder or DIY fanatic who shares the same name as a well-known footballer. Michael Owen, for example, shows he can smash his hard hat through a makeshift goal, albeit from close range. Well, the simple approach has paid off and it tops the list of advertisers for positive social media engagement with nearly four in five of mentions showing positivity.
Budweiser is faring the best out of the official World Cup sponsors with its second-place position. It's just ahead of Hyundai and the supermarket Lidl.
In terms of uplift after an ad has run, the humorous marketing team at Paddy Power should be toasting their success today. Every time they run an ad, social media engagement leaps sevenfold. It is far and away the leader for uplift. For me, their use of the Video Assistant Ref (VAR) to work out who was first at the bar is pure genius.
The really curious one is Coca-Cola -- which, despite being an official sponsor, sees zero uplift after running an ad for the very good reason the researchers believe it has yet to bother. This is an official sponsor remember with a World Cup advert ready to go so to not be running one and so not experiencing any social uplift is a curious strategy. It further underlines how some of the big money sponsors seem less forthright about drawing their attention to an event than normal, perhaps due to a combination of a corrupt FIFA and Russia playing host. Overall, Coca-Cola is only 8th in the Top Ten league table for brand positivity on social over the World Cup period.
As for the players themselves, there are no prizes for guessing that Portugal's Ronaldo tops a Social Bakers league table. He is considerably ahead of any other players with Brazil's Neymar and Argentina's Lionel Messi in second and third place. There is then a considerable drop to the likes of England's talisman, Harry Kane, who is in the sixth spot, despite being on track, after two games, to win the Golden Boot award for the most goals scored during the competition. It just shows that Ronaldo is such a force to be reckoned with in public adoration.
So, as the World Cup goes commercial for the England team, the winners in the UK, so far, are a DIY chain store that sponsors ITV's coverage with humorous idents and a bookmaker that has nothing to do with the event but is making us all laugh with its comic VAR replays.
As for official sponsors, only Budweiser is coming close to rivalling them for both engagement and uplift after an ad has run. The main official sponsor that spring to mind for not featuring in either the uplift or overall brand sentiment chart is Adidas -- the sponsor whose ad I've already pointed out in a previous blog makes no reference to the World Cup, nor FIFA, nor Russia.
This leaving a humble DIY store and a jovial bookmaker an open goal to tap in and watch their social engagement soar.