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If the link between Listerine and the FIFA World Cup isn't obvious, a new global spot for the Johnson & Johnson brand spells it out by showcasing a day in the mouth of a fan.
The ad, by JWT London, is scheduled to run in 44 countries and builds on the "Power To Your Mouth" campaign, which launched in 2012. It shows just how busy the mouth of a soccer fan can get: blowing a vuvuzela or a whistle, eating chips and hot dogs, biting nails in anticipation, kissing a good luck coin and shouting really loudly.
"The World Cup is a good opportunity to get people to reconsider the importance of oral care beyond cleaning your teeth, and to consider what a mouth goes through," said Mike Marquis, VP-global oral care at Johnson & Johnson.
Listerine is Johnson & Johnson's fourth largest brand by media spending in the U.S., with $56 million allocated to measured media in 2012, according to Ad Age's National Leading Advertisers Report. It is outspent only by Neutrogena, Aveeno and Zyrtec.
Though Listerine works with JWT in every market worldwide, Mr. Marquis chose the London office to handle the World Cup campaign because Brits know their soccer. "The U.K. is a hub of passion for football fans across Europe, and passion is a big part of the World Cup," he said.
In addition to the TV spot, Johnson & Johnson is also planning on-pack promotion. In Europe, Listerine caps will carry FIFA branding, and in Brazil, the World Cup's armadillo logo will appear on toothbrushes.
In Indonesia, Listerine is running a competition to find 11 fans -- the same number of people on a soccer team -- to travel to Brazil for the World Cup. Indonesia won't be playing in Brazil (the team was knocked out of the competition at an earlier stage), so Listerine is putting together a representative team to attend the tournament.
Mr. Marquis described Listerine's target market as, "Pretty broad -- it's people with mouths, from kids down to the age of six, up to seniors."
Mr. Marquis is more of an American football fan but said he will be watching the World Cup at home his with his kids. He won't be going to Brazil himself -- Listerine's allocation of tickets is reserved for consumers who win them as prizes or employees who have "done an amazing job."
Johnson & Johnson is also leveraging other global and local brands as part of its World Cup sponsorship. Those include Johnson Baby, Zyrtec and Brazilian sun protection brand, Sundown. The 2014 World Cup is the first that Johnson & Johnson has sponsored.