Case study

How Unilever delighted football fans during the World Cup in the UAE and Saudi Arabia

Unilever products wearing football jerseys and playing football

From the highs of spectacular goals to the lows of missed penalties, while fans enjoyed unforgettable football, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 opened up new opportunities for brands to reach audiences.

Unilever worked with Amazon Ads during the event to build connections between football fans and some of its biggest brands, including Axe, CLEAR Men, Dove, Sunsilk and Jif.

A unique advertising opportunity for brands that comes around only once every four years

The FIFA World Cup is one of the world’s biggest events, bringing together people across the globe to watch their country compete.

BeIN Sports – the leading sports network across the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey – recorded 5.4 billion cumulative views throughout the 2022 World Cup. The final between Argentina and France racked up 242 million views,1 equating to more than two-thirds (68%) of the total adult population in the Middle East and North Africa.

In addition to the mass reach, the World Cup has a proven track record of accelerating consumer spending. Data from GWI’s Core study,2 which analyzed the online consumption of FIFA viewing audiences, indicates that there is an increase in the sales of household items around the time of the World Cup.

In the UAE, football fans are also engaged across Amazon. According to further GWI research, 81% of football fans visited in the 30 days leading up to the World Cup, with 58% of these shoppers making a purchase.3

Unilever identified the World Cup 2022 as a unique time to best connect with audiences, but their challenge was how to deliver results and real value to customers in a competitive advertising landscape. In 2022, the World Cup also fell during the busy Q4 peak shopping season for the first time so gaining consumer interests became even more difficult.

The kick-off

Amazon Ads worked with the Unilever team to create and launch an exclusive custom landing page supported by Amazon DSP, focusing on all things football. The campaign, which ran from 15 November to 22 December, 2022, uniquely brought to life an array of Unilever’s brands. Key products were designed as football players on the landing page, showcasing a unique creative execution unlike anything else in the market during the World Cup. The landing page also featured deals and discounts from Unilever to celebrate the tournament.

Unilever Store custom landing page

Amazon Ads used a video reveal component to establish the message, as part of Unilever’s custom Store. The purpose of this was to surprise and capture customers right from their first interaction. The first image a visitor to the page saw was shoppable, which increased the visibility of Unilever’s top brands.

Dedicated pages were developed for each of the product categories to compliment the full funnel approach of the campaign. This way, Unilever was able to reach and connect with the most relevant audience groups, for example those interested in beauty, personal care, home care or other categories. This also presented an opportunity to inspire shoppers to browse a wider selection of products than usual.

Dedicated pages for different Unilever products categories on their Store

The final score

The results were impressive. Over 1.1 million shoppers across the UAE and Saudi Arabia visited the Unilever brand Store during the time the campaign ran.

The campaign, including the homepage takeover and accompanying Amazon DSP activity, generated over 32 million impressions.

Of those who shopped from the Unilever brand Store, 64% were new-to-brand customers, which shows that the campaign was also successful at brand-building.

*Results in this case study are representative of a single advertiser/campaign and are not indicative of future performance.