It probably won’t be a laughing matter for Uruguay after star player Luis Suarez is punished for his latest on-field biting incident — his third since 2010! But the incident proved irresistible for brands trolling for real-time marketing opportunities.
Suarez, the controversial striker, was caught on film apparently biting the back of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini late in Uruguay’s 1-0 World Cup Group D victory. The loss knocked Italy out of the World Cup. The alleged bite, likely to be cause for suspension, drove Twitter wild; in the first hour the bite was mentioned 339,269 times on Twitter, according to social-media analytics company Sysomos, Mashable reported.
Brands immediately jumped on the easy newsjacking opportunity. Most notably, the Twitter account of McDonald’s Uruguay, recommended Suarez bite into a Big Mac if he was still hungry:
Hola @luis16suarez, si te quedaste con hambre vení a darle un mordisco a una BigMac ;)
— McDonald’s Uruguay (@McDonalds_Uy) June 24, 2014
That theme — bite this, not soccer players — was carried through by most brands who joined the fray. We’ve displayed many of them below, but have to wonder what businesses are hoping to accomplish by associating themselves with this incident.
What do you think?
Chew Trident. Not soccer players. #ITAvsURU
— Trident Gum (@tridentgum) June 24, 2014
Hey @luis16suarez, if you’re that hungry, why not get your teeth stuck into something really tasty? pic.twitter.com/TPrPoC6ljt
— Nando’s (@NandosUK) June 24, 2014
I think it’s safe to say Uruguay was hungry for the win.
— TGI Fridays (@TGIFridays) June 24, 2014
If only Suarez had Whataburger before the game he wouldn’t be so hungry.
— Whataburger® (@Whataburger) June 24, 2014
Someone get #Suarez a burger. #ITAvsURU
— Red Robin (@redrobinburgers) June 24, 2014
Biting is only okay when you’re made of cinnamon and sugar. #BanSuarez #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/SPsWYih153
— CinnamonToastCrunch (@CTCSquares) June 24, 2014
Hey @luis16suarez. Next time you‘re hungry just grab a Snickers. #worldcup #luissuarez #EatASNICKERS pic.twitter.com/3RAO537HjW
— SNICKERS® (@SNICKERS) June 24, 2014
At least the food related tweets made sense — and were arguably funny on their own. On the other hand, JC Penney, lacking an edible product to pitch, went with a pun that fell flat:
Fangs for the memories, Uruguay. #URU http://t.co/Uhx0XqyAem pic.twitter.com/S2fzMsLhPQ
— JCPenney (@jcpenney) June 24, 2014