What’s Up Now: Shakira, Sharks and NFL Info Overload?

Kristin
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It’s nearly impossible to keep up with everything that happens in the advertising world. Here’s some of the must-know (OK, or just cool-to-know) news from this week.

1. Activia dethrones Volkswagen from the viral ad pedestal

UnrulyMedia.com’s metrics show Activa’s World Cup-themed ad featuring pop sensation Shakira is now the most shared ad of all time, Ad Age reported this week. Since its release in May, the video has been shared nearly 6 million times — more than the 2011 Star Wars-themed Volkwagen ad “The Force,” which has nearly 5.4 million shares.

The pulsating “La La La (Brazil 2014)” sponsored video features Brazilian musician Carlinhos Brown and soccer stars Messi and Neymar. Ad Age notes that the video also served to benefit the World Food Programme, the United Nations’ anti-hunger group.

In what Activia called its first-ever integrated global communication campaign, the brand sticks with digestive messaging while attempting to raise their yogurt’s sex appeal (which sounds kind of gross in that context).

Jeffrey Rothman, VP of marketing for The Dannon Co., spoke on the campaign:

“Like no one else in the world, Shakira’s performance illustrates how feeling good on the inside can help you feel wonderful overall.”

The sponsored video is part of Vinizius Young & Rubicam, Barcelona’s “Dare to Feel Good” campaign for Activia. The Y&R affiliate has also done interesting work for San Miguel beer, food industry giant (and makers of Activia) Danone and international confectioner Joyco Candy, among others.

Between the relevant timing and wild popularity of the World Cup, Messi and Shakira’s hips (they still don’t lie) as well as Activia’s aggressive strategy, the spot continued to show video share growth over the last month and spiking even after the World Cup wrapped up on July 13. A good pregnancy rumor will do that, I suppose.

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2. The NFL adapts new player-tracking technology for the 2014 season

The National Football League announced this week that RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) tracking chips will be placed on every player at some point this season in order to track movements and plays in real time.

The tags will be able to record speed, running length, acceleration rates and other skills that can’t be reviewed by simple game examination.  Now, these attributes will be broken down by into quantifiable statistics and can show fans — and more importantly, coaches — a new level of athletic performance.

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The in-game player tracking technology will take place in 17 stadiums during the season (specific locations to be announced).

Zebra, the company behind the chips, will hook the trackers onto players’ shoulder pads and will immediately be able to pull relevant data.

The information is then put into a database, which can be output into a variety of tables and graphics simple enough for a football coach to understand. Just kidding, guys!

Fantasy football is a cultural phenomenon. Last year, the number of participants in fantasy leagues reached a record 33.5 million Americans.

For fantasy football fans, this is huge: a whole new level of understanding exactly how individual players perform over the course of the season can help even the layman see who is wearing down, who is staying strong, who runs the tightest routes, who has the sharpest start-and-stop ability and more. Get ready for Larry from Accounting to become even more insufferable on Mondays.

The NFL’s domination of Sundays (and now Thursdays) never seems to slow down. This year, the brand’s major marketing sponsors will pour a record $1.1 billion into NFL-themed promotions while spending $4 billion for television rights.

And what an audience — even during commercials of a playoff game, fans continue to push viewership and engagement to new heights. (some of us enjoy tweeting about the announcers and commercials as much, or more than,. the game).

Did you know an average NFL game lasts three hours and 12 minutes–yet the ball only spends 11 minutes in play? We’ve basically been sacked by the media, as the sheer volume of advertisements hits over 100 per game. And we love it.

3. Sharknadoes (is that the plural of Sharknado?) and Shark Week. Enough said.

The Discovery Channel aired “Shark Week” for the first time in 1988. If you’re like us, you still can’t resist piggybacking onto this week of razor-sharp teeth, underwater cameras and groan-inducing puns. Shark Week 2014 is set to launch on Aug. 10.

NBCUniversal is in on the fun now, as well. According to Entertainment Weekly, 3.9 million viewers tuned into the media monolith’s Syfy Network on Wednesday night to watch the premiere of Sharknado 2– making it the most watched original television movie in the network’s history (and there have been some beauties — right, RoboCroc?).

Brands love sharks, too. Intel used an image and “byte” pun to prove that this week, it doesn’t matter what industry you come from to attempt newsjacking the shark cycle.

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Tide used promoted tweets to push a Vine with the tagline “We get out blood, too.”

Talk about going all in: Airbus even drew teeth on an aircraft to celebrate our aquatic death-dealing friends.

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And for the grand finale…

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Well done, brands.

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