In every world cup emotions run high, especially during penalty
shootouts. But sadly, there’s little fans can do to influence the
moments of decision. The truth is, they are relegated to being
spectators. Recognizing fans desire to take action, we created the
Lidl Fan Cup: “Play online. Shoot offline.”
The Lidl Fan Cup was an enormous European foosball tournament. It
was aimed at all football fans and Lidl Facebook Fans alike. Our
goal? To transport the emotions of shopping at Lidl by letting fans
experience the scoring of a goal for their own country.
In a 6-week tournament, fans from 23 countries engaged online,
shooting offline on real foosball tables. To bring our idea to life,
we did something never done before. We engineered 50 electro-
mechanical, web-connected foosball tables. In order to control the
game, we developed a facebook web-application. No installation
and no plugins were necessary, letting fans play against each other
for their own countries from any location and any device. Equipped
with 300 cameras we tracked each arena and all penalty shootouts
from three different angles. Fans could see their shots in replays and
constantly improve. And we installed 2 live cams for a real time
insight to the place where everything happened.
The 50 tables, each with 2 playing fields, were branded with 25 Lidl
product lines. After each move the playing fields were randomly
switched. The banners were displayed as Arena Brand Names
2 seconds before the game started. The Intro of each replay in-
cluded 25 different camera flights over the foosball tables. The
replay itself showed the branded banners, which were visible for
6 seconds from three different angles. And at the end of the score,
once again the arena brand name was displayed. Some countries
additionally displayed Facebook-user targeted Intros with special
brand cooperations. Finally, up to 700.000 user saw advertising
round about 120.000 hours, but this was only seen subliminally and
not perceived as actual advertisement, because soccer fans are used
to arena brand names as well as branded banners.
In order to promote the Lidl Fan Cup, we documented every step
of the development process and created 40 hours moving material
and a huge collection of images. Everything was uploaded to a
special content platform only available for press and media.
Additionally, the journalists could also view PR stories for consumer,
business and technology-orientated media. Lidl Italia hosted a
massive PR event at the San Siro soccer stadium in Milan. Special
Guest was the former Italian world cup winner and AC Milan
star Fabio Grosso. During the press conference Lidl present-
ed the world cup 2014 product range and the Lidl Fan Cup
together with the testimonial. For this event a table was
placed in the stadium and the media played against Fabio Grosso.
The foosball tables were placed in a building downtown Frankfurt
with a broadband Internet connection, designed as a real soccer
stadium, with media banners, a coaching zone, a press wall and VIP
catering. 16 other Lidl countries sent local media experts to visit
the Arena to experience 50 tables live in action. Bulgaria invited
the current women’s world foosball champion, Ekaterina
Atanasova, to visit the arena with an entourage of TV and
local News media experts. She played against the
journalists, but also against strangers in the tournament.
And of course she won some games for her country.