Coca-Cola is issuing a universal invitation to the 2014 FIFA World Cup through its largest-ever marketing campaign, launching today with the release of a series of authentic, documentary-style films championing the power of football to bring people together.

“Football is the world’s most played and loved sport. All you need is a few mates and a ball, and you’ve got a game… you don’t need fancy equipment or a stadium,” explains Guy Duncan, global creative director, Coke Trademark. “Brasil is one of the most exciting and vibrant countries on earth. And Coca-Cola is the world’s most-loved beverage brand. The ‘World’s Cup’ campaign celebrates the coming together of these ingredients and invites everyone, everywhere, to play a part in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.”

Brazil VIS 604

The program’s centerpiece is a 2-minute film titled “One World, One Game,” which brings to life the stories of four football teams -- from Otsuchi, Japan; Eastern Europe, the Amazon; and Ramallah, Palestine -- who have overcome unique challenges through their love of the game. The stories show how -- even in times of tension and hardship -- football can unite people from all corners of the globe, regardless of background, religion, gender or race. For some, their beloved sport gives them the strength to continue in the face of a disaster. For others, it provides a simple source of joy. In every case, the sport brings a community closer together.

In the film, Coca-Cola surprises each team with a once-in-a-lifetime invitation to Rio de Janeiro to see preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The teams will return to Brazil on June 16 to carry the national team flags onto the pitch during the Germany vs. Portugal match. 

Duncan said the unscripted stories provide the ultimate expression of "The World’s Cup” concept. “If we want everyone to be invited, what better way than to invite players and fans who are facing hardships most of us would find unimaginable?” he said.

All of the teams were genuinely surprised by the invitations. “They thought they were being filmed for a Coke documentary,” Duncan explained. “They had no idea they’d be invited to Brazil. In Palestine, the girls thought the invite was part of a script and that they had to act out the scene. We had to tell them later that they were actually going to Rio.”

One World, One Game: Japan Invitation

Football players in Otsuchi, Japan, many of whom are still living in mobile homes following the 2011 tsunami, receive a surprise invite to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brasil. The team is one of four featured in a Coca-Cola film titled 'One World, One Game.'

Coca-Cola is committed to leaving a lasting legacy for the players featured in the films. The company refurbished the Palestinian team’s club house; provided the Japanese team with new football equipment; supplied the team in the Amazon with a power generator; and contributed funds to help the Eastern European team build a new roof for its players’ building. “We’re giving them an amazing experience, but also giving back to their communities by providing them with tools and resources needed to pursue their shared passion -- football,” Duncan said.

A series of supporting films takes a deeper look at each team. “After reviewing the footage we captured during 22 days of shooting in five locations, we knew we had some beautiful stories about togetherness, overcoming adversity, and using football as a source of social good,” Duncan said. “Each story deserved its own film.”

In addition to “One World, One Game,” Coke today unveiled a handful of short films that put a FIFA World Cup spin on the popular “Where Will Happiness Strike Next?” platform. The films were shot during the 90-country, 92,000-mile FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour, which kicked off in September and concludes in June. Each shares the story of fans who are using the game to triumph over adversity and inspire others to do the same -- from a blind team in Brasil, to a group of grannies in South Africa. At each film’s climax, Coca-Cola surprises the protagonists with a special viewing of the FIFA World Cup Trophy.

All video content can be viewed in this global YouTube playlist.

Created with Wieden + Kennedy Sao Paulo, “The World’s Cup” aims to deliver the most accessible and inclusive FIFA World Cup ever through a multi-dimensional program that invites everyone to join the action. Underpinning the campaign is the longest-ever FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola, which gives fans the chance to experience football’s most cherished prize.

The Happiness Flag, meanwhile, gives fans the chance to be part of the largest photomosaic ever created. Constructed from hundreds of thousands of photos and tweets submitted by fans from around the world, The Happiness Flag will be unveiled on the pitch before the opening match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 12. Images will be arranged into a design created in collaboration with Speto, the Brazilian street artist responsible for the campaign’s visual identity. Fans can visit to post their “soccer selfies” and find out where their images will appear on the Happiness Flag.

Fans can also listen to and share “The World is Ours,” Coke’s official 2014 FIFA World Cup anthem performed by David Correy featuring Brazilian street band Monobloco. Correy has traveled the world championing the song and performing at select stops along the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour route. He's also done his part to make it a truly global anthem by collaborating with local artists to record nearly 20 duet versions in multiple languages and musical styles, with more on the way.

“We’ve created a tapestry of emotional content and interactive experiences laddering up to 'The World’s Cup’ creative idea -- from these films, to the Trophy Tour, to the anthem, to The Happiness Flag,” Duncan concludes. “And through this very deliberate, universal invitation, we’re weaving our brand values throughout the narrative -- so we’re not just celebrating football, but also Coke’s connection to the sport and the people who love it.”

Watch the Films from ‘The World’s Cup’ Campaign