Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev-owned US brewer Budweiser has launched its global advertising campaign for the FIFA World Cup called ‘Light Up the FIFA World Cup’. The brewer is an official sponsor of the football competition.

The advert was first shown during the Premier League Final on 13 May and features the large-scale delivery of speciality red bottles of Budweiser by thousands of high-tech drones from its brewery in St Louis, Missouri, US, into the hands of football spectators across the world.

Budweiser has negotiated a TV partnership with ITV, which has exclusive rights to half of the World Cup games, including the opening match and England’s final group game.

Budweiser vice-president of global marketing Brian Perkins said: “As the most watched sporting event on the planet, the FIFA World Cup is the ultimate opportunity for Budweiser, the world’s most enjoyed beer, to connect with billions of passionate football fans globally. Our campaign is the largest in our company’s history, and it demonstrates how we are bringing together fans from around the world over a beer and their shared passion for football.

“Our campaign captures the celebratory, upbeat and premium experience of the Budweiser brand, and fans will continue to see this come to life through our ongoing activations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.”

In addition to the televised advertisement, Budweiser has also created Red Light Cups, which it claims are the first noise activated cups that will respond to the cheering and clapping of fans by lighting up, and launched a Bud Boat, which will travel down the River Thames in London and show World Cup games.

The FIFA World Cup begins on 14 June and is hosted by Russia. Another drinks brand involved in marketing for the World Cup is Coca-Cola, one of FIFA’s partners. The soft drinks conglomerate has launched bottles with a code that allows consumers to access in-game content within EA Sports’ FIFA 2018 games, as well as opportunities to win an at home entertainment system and other runner-up prizes.

Coca-Cola also launched point of sale and promotional materials in mid-May, which include match planners, World Cup bunting, exclusive quizzes and competitions.

Coca-Cola European partners out-of-home director Rob Harris said: “38% of younger consumers between the ages of 18-34 are planning to watch matches at the pub, so there’s no denying that the 2018 FIFA World Cup presents an extremely lucrative opportunity for licensees.

“Soft drinks are already the second biggest category by share of serve on trade, and with the majority of games being played before 7pm, there is a real chance to maximise soft drinks sales. We hope that we can help licensees to capture the excitement of the nation ahead of and during the FIFA World Cup. We’d recommend that licensees review their soft drinks range ahead of the tournament to ensure choice is being offered. Make sure soft drinks are visible in outlet and keep well stocked up to keep up with the demand.”