Les Lions, les sponsors et la pub

The world cup is in a few days and everyone is talking about it in some form or fashion. Advertising plays a big part in all phases of the world cup; it will either gather fans under one banner, or send warm messages to teams and show them that their nation stands behind them. In Cameroon I’m sad to say, I’ve seen neither. At least so far. Every single attempt to produce some type of content for the world cup has either been a total flop or has backfire towards the brand. A few months ago we saw Orange Cameroon step up and produce a campaign to introduce or showcase the team…or I don’t even know what they were trying to do.

Pub Orange Cameroun


“On ne donne pas le lait” Cameroonian expression to say “I mean business”. A few days after the campaign was released, Cameroon lost an exhibition match. And this happened:

Parodie Pub Orange

In terms of creating content for a specific market you have to understand the culture, the lingo, and everything that goes with it.

I don’t have a problem with people creating parody ads, or expressing their disappointment with the performance of their team. I’m just disappointed to the fact not only did Orange not react to it, but the speed at which that ad was parodied is a testimony to the lo-fi quality of the original content. Orange is an international brand, the Indomitable Lions a world renown team. Yet, the commercials is not up to par. Orange was not the only fiasco if you ask me, I look at Brasseries du Cameroun (Tangui or 33 Export) and it’s not better at all. Here’s my question, with all the money you spend to become a sponsor, do you really think that your job stops there? I know we’re all chasing innovations and the next big idea, but did your marketing reps or agencies stop to look around and see what the other sponsors are doing? I could be wrong, but I’m sure…they didn’t.

The lions have been getting good press lately, now would have been the time to re-engage the public with new messages. Reinvigorating the public and the team. Instead, it’s the same messages over and over again. In a country where football is not competing with any other sports, it’s easy to get the people interested, but don’t let that give you an opportunity to be lazy.

In terms of creating content for a specific market you have to understand the culture, the lingo, and everything that goes with it. I don’t think that slapping a silly tagline did the job. I don’t think the low budget photoshoot did the job either. I’m a fan of the team and will support them no matter what, but in the realm of trash-talking other teams we can’t compete with anybody in our group based on advertising only. Don’t believe me? here are the main ads for the other teams in group A.

Le Brésil:

Brazil had a commercial for everything. When they introduced their kit (official uniform, t-shirt, ball) when they wanted to invite their country to support them. All paid by sponsors of course.

Nike - Brazil
Nike the official sponsor of the Brazilian team produced this visual to introduce the “Brazil Kit”
image from Nike

Pub Nike Bresil


The next series of visuals focused on introducing the team and key players to the fans. “Juga Bonito style”.
“ouse ser brasileiro” signifie “oser être brésilien”; EN:”Dare to be Brazilian”
image from Nike




Their marketing team in collaboration with Adidas came to Cameroon to shoot a portion of their TV spot. Yes, in Cameroon, Douala to be exact.

Very emotional commercial for Mexican fans, especially capturing the essence of being away in a foreign territory but still have the passion to root for your team.
February 14, 2014 by Adidas Football via YouTube


A beer company, Ožujsko, created an incredible TV spot to tell their national team’s supporters to have faith.

TV spot stating the obvious, yet encouraging the fans to believe and have faith in their team. Showing the power of hope.
May 5, 2014 by Ožujsko via YouTube

What is the moral of the story here? It is the sponsors’ job to motivate the people. Because the people are the one who support and give energy to the team. You don’t have to be Nike or Adidas or Puma to have great commercial. You just need to get out of your comfort zone, and dare to entrust your creative work to a team of people who are not scared to take your brand and messages to the next level.


There are no comments

Add yours

What moves you?