Breaking: Official World Cup Sponsor Makes Viral Chart

FIFA Has Kept Ambush Marketing Out of Stadiums, but It's Welcome on the Web

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NEW YORK ( -- It took David Beckham, Snoop Dogg, Daft Punk and Noel Gallagher, but Adidas's "Star Wars" spot finally broke the top 10 viral ads last week. It's the first official World Cup marketer to make the top 10. Why is that news? Well, for a key sponsor of the World Cup, Adidas had been strangely absent from the online buzz, dominated by arch-rival and non-sponsor Nike, whose "Write the Future" campaign dominated in views and buzz.

We've seen this as a pattern throughout the World Cup so far: non-sponsors outperforming sponsors in terms of online marketing around the event. There's Nike over Adidas; Pepsi over Coke; Carlsberg over Budweiser. FIFA organizers are getting a lot of cooperation from South African officials to stop ambush marketing during the matches. Witness the removal of 36 Dutch fans in orange mini dresses from a game, for planning a stunt for non-sponsor Bavaria Beer.

But FIFA, which earns 30% of its income from sponsorships, can't do much about marketers capitalizing on World Cup excitement on the web (or TV, for that matter). This raises the question of what the future holds for big-money sponsorships around events. Non-sponsors are showing they can do as well or better without paying up for "official" status, especially if they have existing marketing relationships with the athletes themselves, as Nike and Pepsi do.

Nike's "Write the Future" held firm at No. 2 for again in its fourth consecutive week on the chart, while Adidas' recreation of the "Star Wars" cantina scene broke in at No. 3 with a bit more than 2.5 million views. Pepsi's World Cup ad came in at No. 4, its 14th week on the cart.

No. 1 last week was a new entry in the form of branded entertainment for Cosmopolitan magazine and Nivea. Curious: Who's the target audience for this spot? Men? Buyers of Nivea? Cosmo readers? For obvious reasons, we expect it to stick around for at least another week.

Last Week Brand Campaign Agency Current Week Views* % Change in Views** Watch the Spot
1 New Cosmopolitan & Nivea Bikini Bash The Station; Maker Studios 3,775,023 New Cosmopolitan & Nivea: Bikini Bash
2 2 Nike Write the Future Wieden & Kennedy 3,129,221 +17% Nike: Write the Future
3 New Adidas Originals Star Wars Cantina 2010 FIFA World Cup Sid Lee 2,564,887 New Adidas Originals: Star Wars Cantina 2010 FIFA World Cup
4 5 Pepsi Oh Africa N/A 1,625,812 +45% Pepsi: Oh Africa
5 8 Toyota The Sienna Family Saatchi & Saatchi 957,447 +18% Toyota: The Sienna Family
6 7 Evian Live Young BETC Euro RSCG 904,129 -3% Evian: Live Young
7 10 YouTube YouTube Turns 5 N/A 825,863 +11% YouTube: YouTube Turns 5
8 1 Coke Zero, Mentos Rocket Car Eepybird 750,922 -76% Coke Zero, Mentos: Rocket Car
9 6 Fortnight Lingerie Super Sexy CPR Red Urban 710,059 -31% Fortnight Lingerie: Super Sexy CPR
10 New Huggies I've Got Chic in My Pants JWT 661,018 New Huggies: I've Got Chic in My Pants
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