Listerine’s World Cup Newsroom Will Turn Social Posts Into Ads

Brand doubles down on Twitter, Facebook

Headshot of Lauren Johnson

Listerine plans to pull out all the bells and whistles on Facebook and Twitter this year for its first World Cup sponsorship. The Johnson & Johnson brand will lean on millennial-focused agency MRY in a campaign dubbed "Power to Your Mouth," which is designed to capitalize on the expected social chatter that will take place during the soccer matches.

The mouthwash will set up real-time newsrooms in New York and London to react to the tournament, and a team of artists and sports experts will churn out real-time content for Listerine on Facebook and Twitter. Then, Listerine will buy Facebook and Twitter ads on mobile and desktop in real-time based on which posts and tweets have the most engagement.

The brand opened its first global Twitter account for this effort.

The posts will entail pithy copy that's designed to read like newspaper headlines. Each post includes an illustration, which seems particularly well-suited for mobile and is in line with a big push from Twitter to include more multimedia in tweets.

For example, if Germany wins the tournament, a Twitter post may compare the victory to the country's 2006 third place finish. Of course, not all of the social posts will be about soccer, and messages about oral care will be mixed into Listerine’s Facebook and Twitter streams.

The social efforts also tackle some of the language barriers that World Cup marketers are likely to experience in the next month or so: Tweets will be translated into English and Spanish, while Facebook posts will be translated in Italian, Portuguese and Arabic.

Listerine’s media plan also includes a TV spot, in-store promotions and signage around the stadium in Brazil. 

Brands are well-known for orchestrating these kinds of social efforts for events like March Madness and the Super Bowl well in advance of the actual games. But marketers can also expect plenty of brands to make some unexpected media buys and possibly even pull off a few hijacks this year.

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.