On the 24th of October 2021, a collective moan could be heard around the world. Grown men wailed like babies while soccer betting sites began to crash. This chain of events were set off when Liverpool Football Club gave Manchester United one of the biggest thrashings in recent soccer history; a final scoreline of 5-0.
However, one man’s loss is another man’s gain. This upset was seen by some brands as a chance to further their own agenda by riding on the wave of attention. Of course, in order to prevent offending potentially millions of Man Utd fans, these brands had to be tactful in the execution of their campaign as well.
Here are three examples of brands that managed to score and propel their brands up the standings.
1. Marine Parade NPC
Image credit: Marine Parade NPC
Who says that the police can’t have a sense of humour? Marine Parade NPC took a shot at the Red Devils with this image on Facebook outlining five simple steps to prevent falling for scams. As if the graphics themselves need more emphasis, we have a policeman in the photo adding salt to the wound by holding up five fingers as well.
While this move has been seen as tasteless by a few netizens, you can’t deny the impact and publicity it has spawned. It has even garnered the attention of parliament member Tan Chuan-Jin, who was on board with the playful jab, although we suspect that he was rooting against the Red Devils in the first place.
2. Alfa Romeo
Image credit: Alfa Romeo Singapore
You may think that maintaining neutrality will allow you to please everyone, but sometimes taking the side of the winners can be the smart play. Take Alfa Romeo’s poster here for example. Not only is this a good way to remind potential buyers of the warranty of their automobiles, but adding Liverpool FC’s tagline at the bottom makes sense as a way to promote their customer servicing.
Image adapted from: Alfa Romeo
Of course, everything is fair game. If you’re willing to meme-fy a giant sports club with millions of fans, some of these fans will be ready to clap back with a witty response of their own.
Image adapted from: SaffronsSg
While other brands may take advantage of a trend overtly, sometimes it’s better to be subtle and leave the interpretation up to your audience. That’s exactly what Saffrons, a local Indian–Muslim restaurant, did to great effect.
Without leaning too heavily on the 5-0 narrative, Saffrons was able to relate the scoreline to their own products, since the “zero” can also be interpreted as a “kosong”, one of their menu items.
Trendjacking Man Utd Scoreline
While we have seen other brands successfully trend–jack TV shows and movies like Squid Game and Shang-Chi, slightly more nuance is needed when it comes to teasing a massive Football Club that has its fair share of rabid fans.
For example, an eatery like Saffrons can take an innocent jab without facing much backlash, but a public service sector like Marine Parade NPC will be under more scrutiny. One wrong move, and you’re likely to alienate the majority of your audience. At the end of the day, there is a thin line to thread here and the risk rewards must be carefully calculated.