On Wednesday night Gareth Southgate’s men crashed out of the World Cup, losing 2-1 to Croatia in extra-time. England reached the semi-final for the first time since Italia ’90 and the entire nation was behind them, with The Lightning Seeds “Three Lions” being streamed close to 3 million times prior to kick-off. Helping the song, which features comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel, reach number one in the UK charts – the song was originally released in 1996.
The hashtag #ItsComingHome trended during the entire tournament, with it gaining millions of impressions daily. However, bookmaker William Hill have caused a lot of controversy by purchasing the hashtag so that a WH branded football kit emoji would appear any time the hashtag was used. Influential accounts and celebrities, with millions of followers, such as Lad Bible and Gary Lineker frequently used the hashtag during the tournament giving William Hill huge brand exposure.
The backlash began when accounts with a key demographic of under 18’s started using the hashtag and inadvertently were promoting gambling to an underage market. Although the emoji has since been removed, the emoji will have been seen by millions across the globe. Leading to the debate whether or not this is been a hugely successful ambush marketing campaign by William Hill or a damaging one.