Update: Experian Hitwise identifies the brands topping the World Cup sponsorship league

Qantas outperforms all World Cup brands since Index began

Travel brands boom with four in the top five fast movers last week

World Cup-related searches up 51% since start of the competition

 

London, 7 July 2010 - Experian Hitwise, the leading online competitive intelligence service, today reveals that travel and fashion brands have surged into the top five performers in its World Cup Brand Search Index.

By far the biggest winner of the week was Australian flag carrier Qantas, which saw UK internet searches increase by over 150% between the week ending June 26th and the week ending July 3rd. The increase in traffic made Qantas the 18th most popular website in the aviation sector, up from the 21st position in the previous week.

Qantas’s success this week in online searches eclipses everything that has come before since Experian Hitwise started the World Cup Brand Index. Previous chart-toppers South African Airways (129.2% increase in UK Internet searches during the first week of the tournament), Budweiser (25% increase during week two) and Peroni (50% increase during week 3) led the field in their respective weeks, but were no match for Qantas’s achievements this week.

Other big-name travel brands Hertz, Virgin Atlantic and Lufthansa also had a good week with search increases of between 6.5% and 11.1%. Meanwhile, fashion brands Gillette and Marks & Spencer also broke into the top five for the first time.

Brand Index Week 4 – top six performers

Rank

Brand

Experian Hitwise Brand Search Index, w/e June 26th

Experian Hitwise Brand Search Index, w/e July 3rd

Week on week change (%)

1

 Qantas

92

233

154.5%

2

 Gillette

80

96

20.0%

3

 Hertz

104

115

11.1%

4

 Virgin Atlantic

94

101

7.2%

=5

 Lufthansa

83

88

6.5%

=5

 Marks and Spencer

102

108

6.5%

Despite England’s poor performance against Germany, two of the top five improved performers were brands linked with the England team. Marks & Spencer provided the team’s suits, while Virgin Atlantic was the official airline supplier for the England squad. Both companies received a lot of media coverage as the England team returned from South Africa, which could be responsible for the surge in internet searches.

This week’s best performing sector was travel, increasing by 5.6% overall. This increase could be attributed in part to England’s exit from the competition, with many England fans holding back on booking holidays whilst the team remained in contention to win the World Cup. Food and Drink was the best sector last week and managed to maintain an impressive 3.0% increase as a sector, despite significant drops in searches for Budweiser, Carlsberg and Peroni.

“We’ve seen a lot of change in the online performance of key World Cup brands over the last few weeks,” commented Experian Hitwise’s Director of Research, Robin Goad. “Much like the competition itself, no one brand has asserted itself as a clear favourite, with our top five performing brands going through wholesale changes in most weeks.

“Some of the bigger brands have haven’t scored that many online goals during the tournament. The major sportswear brands have been the Italy of our Index and have not experienced the expected increase in searches. On the other hand, smaller brands like Westfield and Kia have performed above expectations, making them the Ghana of the Index. Simply putting money behind a big name team doesn’t automatically guarantee a brand success during the tournament.  Instead, it will be those companies who used digital marketing to quickly adapt their World Cup strategies who will be the ones most likely to emerge as winners.”

Other World Cup influences on UK online search behaviour include:

  • Searches for World Cup-related terms increased 4.6% between the week ending June 26th and the week ending July 3rd. In the last four weeks, World Cup-related searches have increased by 51%.
  •  With the group stages over, it was almost inevitable that some of the remaining knockout matches would result in penalty shootouts. Searches for ‘penalty’ increased last week, and 60% of the top 20 related searches for the term ‘penalty’ concerned online flash games. Only two of the top 20 penalty-related search terms were actually to do with football matches, including ‘longest penalty shootout’ and ‘penalty shootout alternatives’.

Overall Brand Index Week 4

 

 

Experian Hitwise Brand Search Index, w/e June 26th

Experian Hitwise Brand Search Index, w/e July 3rd

Week on week change (%)

All Brands

All Brands index

106

108

1.5%

Automotive

Overall Automotive index

92

90

-2.1%

Chevrolet

88

94

5.9%

Fiat

97

92

-5.2%

Hyundai

89

83

-7.3%

Kia

96

101

5.4%

Mercedes Benz

92

96

3.5%

Peugeot

79

73

-8.0%

Volkswagen

101

98

-2.3%

Food & Drink

Overall Food & Drink index

112

116

3.0%

Budweiser

121

85

-30.0%

Cadbury

81

81

0.0%

Carlsberg

80

50

-37.5%

Coca Cola

100

94

-5.8%

Corona

89

89

0.0%

Heineken

44

44

0.0%

McDonalds

101

93

-7.2%

Pepsi

65

65

0.0%

Peroni

150

100

-33.3%

Powerade

80

80

0.0%

Tesco

114

118

3.8%

Sports & Fashion

Overall Sports & Fashion index

101

106

4.7%

Adidas

110

109

-0.7%

Dolce & Gabbana

96

101

5.9%

Gillette

80

96

20.0%

Marks and Spencer

102

108

6.5%

Nike

100

98

-2.3%

Nivea for Men

100

100

0.0%

Puma

85

85

0.0%

Westfield

88

90

1.5%

Travel

Overall Travel Index

99

105

5.6%

Emirates

104

102

-2.4%

Hertz

104

115

11.1%

Lufthansa

83

88

6.5%

Qantas

92

233

154.5%

South African Airways

186

132

-29.3%

Virgin Atlantic

94

101

7.2%

Technology & Telecoms

Overall Technology & Telecoms index

114

107

-5.7%

Samsung

98

95

-2.8%

Sony

85

83

-2.3%

T-Mobile

118

113

-4.1%

Vodafone

136

124

-9.0%

The next Experian Hitwise Brand Index will be available on 13 July 2010.

ENDS

Contact:

Jannie Cahill

Experian Hitwise

+44 20 3042 4773

press.uk@hitwise.com

 * About the Experian Hitwise Brand Search Index

The Index is based upon the volume of UK Internet searches for multiple variations of each brand. All of the brands selected are either official FIFA World Cup sponsors, or sponsors of national teams with products that have strong brand recognition in the UK. The base for the index was set at 100 using the average weekly search volume for each brand during May 2010.

About Experian Hitwise

Experian Hitwise is the leading online competitive intelligence service. Experian Hitwise gives marketers a competitive advantage by providing daily insights on how 25 million Internet users around the world interact with more than 1 million Web sites. This external view helps companies grow and protect their businesses by identifying threats and opportunities as they develop. Experian Hitwise has more than 1,500 clients across numerous sectors, including financial services, media, travel and retail.

Experian Hitwise (FTS:EXPN), www.experianplc.com, operates in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada and Brazil. More information about Experian Hitwise is available at www.hitwise.co.uk.

For up-to-date analysis of online trends, please visit the Experian Hitwise research blog at www.ilovedata.com and the Experian Hitwise Data Centre at www.hitwise.com/datacentre

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 90 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2010 was $3.9 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; Costa Mesa, California; and São Paulo, Brazil. 

For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.

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