Astute marketing by Mars as they resurrect the John Barnes rap from “World in Motion” anthem, evoking happy memories of Italia 90 World Cup

April 15, 2010

The news that Mars have persuaded footballer John Barnes to re-create his rap from New Order’s World Cup song “World in Motion” for a TV commercial, evokes happy memories of Gazza’s tears and Pavarotti’s “Nessum Dorma” tournament anthem, from possibly the best World Cup, Italia 90.

Mars BarSentimentality and nostalgia sells ( see earlier Oxo article in this Brand Marketing section ).  For this reason, Mars have very astutely aligned the brand alongside a positive memory that will long stay in the memory of any consumer aged twenty six and over!! The confectioner is also changing the packaging of the chocolate bar, so that it carries the white of the England shirts and the George Cross.

Italia 90 was a great televisual experience: Bobby Robson’s Boys were in attendance, a squad that included the enfant terrible, Paul Italia 90Gascoine. Before the tournament Robson described Gazza as being “as daft as a brush”………but that brush swept all before him, taking all the accolades as the most skillful player in a tournament that included Diego Maradonna and Roberto Baggio

World in MotionHowever the presence of England alone does not qualify Italia 90 as the best World Cup in the last fifty years. For once there was a half decent England World Cup song, by a group with genuine musical credentials. New Order were “commissioned” to write “World in Motion”, and in turn invited squad member, John Barnes, to perform a rap section half way through. In fairness, beyond “this sceptred isle”, the tournament will always be remembered globally for the official World Cup theme, Pavarotti’s “Nessum Dorma”. Everytime a BBC World Cup programme started with that incredibly moving, poignant song, the hairs on the back of your neck stood to attention like fans on the terraces standing to celebrate a goal!

Music soundtracks alone do not define a great World Cup. Drama and success are imperative for an England fan. By hook, crook and a last gasp David Platt volleyed winner against Belgium, England managed to engineer a passage through to the Semi Finals, where they met West Germany spearheaded by the Holy Trinity from Inter Milan, of Lothar Matteus, Jurgen Klinsmann and Andreas Brehme.

The rest is history…………a Paul Parker deflected own goal, a Gary Lineker equaliser, Chris Waddle hitting the woodwork in an extra Gazza 90time period which also saw Gazza booked for a second time, meaning he would have missed the Final. Not to worry though, the dreaded penalty shoot out put pay to any hopes of a Final appearance, with Chris Waddle and Stuart Pearce missing their spotkicks. The match will always be remembered for Gazza’s tears, but for me the sight of football hard man Stuart Pearce on his knees in tears will always be my abiding, poignant memory.

So is the re-release of the “World in Motion” rap a lucky omen for England and their fans? Mars will certainly hope so! Should the most talented England squad since Italia 90, match their predecessors by reaching the Semi Finals and going one better, and reaching in the Final, Mars will benefit from the connection and the associated “feel good factor”. England have stiff competition in Brazil, Spain and Argentina, but anything is possible with a rousing “World in Motion” anthem being played in the dressing room before matches. Maybe it’s time for a “New Order” in World football!!

Ultimately whether or not England win the World Cup, Mars will be a winner by gaining massive exposure during the build up to, and the actual five week tournament and aligning the brand with the positive, entertaining, colourful experience that the World Cup always provides.

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