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Inside the Global Journey of Coke's FIFA World Cup Anthem

By:  Jay Moye May 2, 2014
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Last year, Coca-Cola set out to bring the music of Brazil to the world. Now, with the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup just weeks away, the brand is bringing the music of the world back to Brazil in the form of an inspiring song that channels the host country’s culture and salutes the spirit of what promises to be the world’s most inclusive event.

“The World is Ours” launched in June 2013 as a Portuguese song, titled “Todo Mundo” by Brazilian singer Gaby Amarantos. A few months later, Coke introduced the song as its global FIFA World Cup anthem with English lyrics sung by Brazilian-born singer David Correy and the samba, baile funk and technobrega rhythms of Rio-based percussion group Monobloco.

What began as a sonic love letter to Brazil has morphed into a truly global anthem featuring a multicultural mashup of languages, instruments and genres. Since September, “The World is Ours” has traveled with the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour, covering 92,000 miles and reaching 90 countries, with Correy performing live at dozens of stops.

David Correy

David Correy shooting the music video for 'The World Is Ours.'

Meanwhile, 120 musicians and producers along the route have recorded 24 local versions of the song in 22 languages, logging 300 hours of studio time. The interpretations will reach more than 175 countries. Check out a mashup of the international versions above, or by clicking here.

“‘The World is Ours’ has more stamps in its passport than any other song out there,” said Joe Belliotti, Coke’s head of global music marketing. “The world has put its fingerprints on this anthem, which has taken different shapes with each interpretation.”

Coca-Cola teams around the world identified regional artists who would be a good match for the song and spirit of the brand’s “World’s Cup” campaign. The versions feature a mix of established and emerging talent.

“We worked with the markets to make sure, musically and creatively, there was an interesting fit,” Belliotti adds. “From David, to the singers we worked with in Kenya and Thailand and everywhere in between, every artist and every version of the song embody happiness and inclusion.”

Correy was only in the studio for a few of the sessions, including a duet with Carlos Vives of Colombia. “That one was so real, so raw,” he recalls. “It felt like we’d known each other for years.”

The other collaborations were virtual. “The artists had the opportunity to study the song on their own and put their authentic stamp on it,” Correy adds. “I love being surprised with each version I hear for the first time… each one breathes new life into this song and message.”

Belliotti adds, “We weren’t prescriptive with our brief. We wanted the artists to be inspired and let their creativity flow, so they had a lot of freedom in the studio. They could choose which parts of the song to translate, for example. We did want all versions to feature the global anthem’s Brazilian rhythms, but encouraged them to add local flavor. For example, the Middle East version layers amazing traditional instruments on top of Brazilian drums.”

Correy says these last nine months have helped him grow as an artist, and given him a more worldly perspective.

“I never thought I’d have the chance to collaborate with an Indonesian artist, for example,” he said. “This journey has been a dream come true.”

American singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc added a new vocal melody and lyrics to a new mashup of the anthem, too. He performed the track live with Correy for the first time a few weeks ago at the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour concert in Los Angeles. They were joined on stage by Puerto Rican artist Wisin, who contributed to the local version of the anthem in Mexico. The song, which will be part of the official 2014 FIFA World Cup Album releasing on May 13, can be streamed on Spotify here or downloaded on iTunes here.

The international versions of “The World is Ours” will be featured in local TV commercials, digital programs and other local campaigns leading up to and during the FIFA World Cup. Many are off to a fast start on YouTube, including interpretations from Indonesia (almost 3.8 million views) and the Middle East (over 3.2 million views with over 1 million views in its first 24 hours online).