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…as condoms come first in TV ad battle

According to new research(1), 38% of women in Britain are planning to watch the World Cup final, so the stakes couldn’t be higher for advertisers who have booked some of the year’s most expensive TV airtime. Unfortunately most brands seem to have forgotten that women will be watching the footie too, and are aiming their ads squarely at male viewers.

A study by London-based research company The Nursery has found that big World Cup advertisers who rely on the game and its stars in their creative treatments are leaving Britain’s women cold. But cheekier brands which don‘t take football too seriously, like condom maker Durex, are much more likely to score with female viewers.

“Advertisers such as Nike and Adidas are relying on the football and footballers in their commercials,” explained Alice Morgan, researcher at The Nursery. “There are plenty of women who enjoy the World Cup but they often think that players are overpaid and they are cynical about the game itself. These sports brands can risk alienating the significant proportion of the female population that is watching.”

The research showed that women enjoy the World Cup for its inclusivity and fun, appreciating the global coming together of the event and the added dimension brought by the Brazilian location. Too much concentration on the serious side of football and the players prompts feelings that the event is over-hyped and boring.

Women expect beer brands such as Carlsberg and Budweiser to target men with ‘blokey’ football themed advertising but the Bud ad’s cinematic take on the World Cup was no match for the down to earth humour offered by Carlsberg.

McDonalds’ inclusive play on football and use of female characters as a natural part of the story also appealed but Listerine’s creation of a World Cup ad was described as “crass opportunism” by the women surveyed who could see no genuine connection between the product and the event. While Vauxhall gained marks for patriotism from some women - and lost them for jingoism among others - the other major car advertiser, Kia, appeared to confuse more women than it attracted. “Why are Kia building stadiums?” “They’ve just stuck a stadium in there and said ‘that looks like a World Cup ad’”, were among the derisive comments made by the women surveyed.

Surprise package Durex made the best impression among British women by creating an ad which was considered “refreshing and very funny” and centred on outrageous diving in football, featuring the end line ‘Don’t Fake It’.

“Some of the biggest brands in the world have missed an opportunity to engage with women watching the tournament,” added Morgan. “Too many have bought into the hype of Ronaldo and co on the pitch, and have missed the power of the World Cup to bring people together and have fun.”

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Notes to editors:
1. Founded in 2001, The Nursery is a research company specialising in brands and advertising. For this project The Nursery interviewed a representative UK sample of 500 women and staged four additional focus groups.

The Nursery offers both qualitative and quantitative research and works across a wide range of clients including O2, Direct Line and Macmillan Cancer Support.

For further information:
The Nursery - Alice Morgan ( / 020 7734 1166
Richmond Towers Communications - Rob Metcalfe ( / 020 7388 7421

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of The Nursery in the following categories: Entertainment & Arts, Sport, Media & Marketing, for more information visit