Opinion

Viva Brazil!

With the World Cup taking place in Brazil in just a couple of weeks, Rio’s Carnival spirit is making its way into consumer hands as we see a variety of brands undergo a Brazilian makeover.

I’m the first to admit that I am not the biggest football fan (at all), but when faced with limited editions and exciting new flavours in the supermarkets, I can’t resist giving them a go. Last weekend I bought Volvic’s Touch of Coco & Pineapple; it tastes like a Pinacolada and holidays (This impulse purchase of course had absolutely nothing to do with the cute FREE flip-flop keying). It had zero reference to the game on pack therefore I didn’t feel like I was buying a bit of football but more a bit of holiday spirit, which lets face it, we all a need a bit of.

M&Ms also caught my eye; at first glance the green and yellow pack stood out as being totally different. I assumed it would be some sort of special flavour, but upon closer inspection I discovered it’s regular M&M peanuts, but dressed up in Brazilian brights. I wasn’t too impressed, so I ended up putting the pack back on the shelf; I’m not really bothered about green and yellow peanuts but if they were a special flavor, then perhaps I might!

Typically, in the drinks category, tropical flavours, like Coconut, Mango and Pineapple maximize on the theme, whilst lime greens and yellows accented with swooshes of red and blue communicate the Brazilian national colours. Coco Cola however, stay close to their trademark red but introduce elements of Brazil in different ways, using patterns and bold graphics. Compared with brands such as Volvic and Lucozade, Coca Cola aren’t giving us a new flavour variant (in fact, these bottles are empty!) but instead more one-of-kind, collectable designs in miniature format with added interactivity.

Pot Noodle have taken the theme a step further by introducing a limited edition flavour; ’Brazilian BBQ Steak,’ whilst McDonald’s have gone as far as creating a whole new menu especially, and have launched a series of illustrative fry-boxes around the world featuring illustrations by artists from participating countries. They’ve also included a bit of augmented reality. This means you can bring the World Cup to life whilst eating your Brazilian based burger with no need to put down your phone. What could be better?

When you think of Brazil, you think of vibrancy and culture, especially at Carnival time. Many products are promoting the ‘party’ vibes of Rio; anticipating the get-togethers and parties many will share over the coming weeks. For example, McCain’s; in keeping with their ‘Summer of Sharing’ campaign have introduced a Brazilian bowl giveaway onto the front of pack, allowing for a Brazillian-y area without compromising the McCain’s brand as we know it. Schwartz, being more overt with the football theme, has included graphics of football playing men on the front of pack, once again in Brazilian colours. This makes sense for a male audience; ‘Grill Mates’ will remind BBQing men to flavour their meats on the big day. Tapping into prime snacking and sharing opportunities, Pringles have also jumped in with a full zesty lime tube and new zesty flavour variant.¬

Absolut vodka have approached the theme slightly differently by introducing their ‘Karnival’ limited edition; a passion fruit and orange blossom flavour, featuring illustrations by the Brazilian graphic novel artist and writer Rafael Grampá. This seems to be a more considered, grown-up way of using the theme to their advantage – Absolut absolutely could have covered their bottle in wild colours and got away with it.

Similarly, Budweiser have launched their ‘Rise as One’ campaign as part of its sponsorship. The unique packaging stays far away from Brazilian reference, instead features the iconic World Cup trophy, representing the height of achievement in football. The limited edition gold bottle, integral to the campaign aims to bring the UK together to celebrate and share the passion for the tournament with a classic and traditional, metallic approach.

Top Tips for brands making the most of the World Cup:

• Give us more. It’s great that brands are trying to include us in the action, but don’t just give your brand some Brazilian, give us a bit of Brazil too!

• If flavour remains the same, a special, collectable design can give us something extra.

• Stay classy. Just one reference at a time please.

• Artists and illustrator collaborations are preferred over footballs and players.

• Personally, I prefer less football and more flavour. If you’re using Brazil as the theme, make it more than just decoration.

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