Grupo Gallegos resembles more of a sports hub than an advertising agency these days—World Cup games are broadcast on multiple screens throughout its Huntington Beach office, and employees huddle around to follow the action.

The “fútbol” immersion is part of the agency’s monthlong social media assignment for two of its major clients, Comcast Corp. and J. C. Penney Co.

“Both have very large communities on Facebook and Twitter that we manage,” said Chris Mellow, Grupo Gallegos’ director of digital and engagement. “We knew that those fans would be watching TV while they are on their social media, so our team put together (a) strategy for pushing out content that people would want to share during the games.”

Mellow’s digital team is following several games each day that may be of interest to Latino-American audiences, including on weekends.

They’re also keeping tabs on popular soccer-related hashtags to see what everyone in social media is talking about.

And they’re looking for their own “Oreo moment,” a marketing gem that happened in 2013 during the power outage in the third quarter of the Super Bowl game: the cookie brand’s social media team tweeted a photo of an Oreo with the caption, “Power Out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.” The tweet was shared more than 16,000 times. Oreo’s other tweets got about 15 to 30 retweets.

When something especially interesting does happen—such as the recent outstanding performance by Mexico’s goalie Memo Ochoa that caused a sensation on Twitter during last week’s match against Brazil—Gallegos’ social media strategist will suggest, “This is how it might fit in our campaign,” Mellow said.

Writers then strive to craft “a quick line” and send it off to the art directors to “put it all together and post it.”

The social media assignment is an addition to World Cup-themed advertising campaigns the agency created for both brands.


“For J. C. Penney, it’s all about trying to support their ‘when it fits you feel it’ brand tag line,” Mellow said. “We created a World Cup campaign all around the fact that more Hispanic women like soccer than Hispanic men. As a brand, they really see the Latina as their North Star, so strategically, if they are doing the right things and they are bringing Latinas into the store, then they know that will trickle down into success in other areas.”

The 40-second TV spot, titled “Pulse,” shows Latinas, “fanaticas,” getting ready for the game day, wearing the colors of their favorite teams and cheering with their families as the female narrator says, “Soccer is for girls and that passion fits us nicely.” The spot will air during all 56 games on Univision.

Digital components of the campaign include banner and pre-roll YouTube ads, as well as a Facebook contest in which fans can vote for outfits inspired by the national colors of countries competing in the World Cup.

“Mexico won (recently), since the majority of our fan base is from Mexico … they get a lot of support,” Mellow said. “It was really fun. Fans got to engage around the soccer concept but also in” a way where fashion felt really natural.

Comcast campaign is about “showing how its Xfinity products help you enjoy the World Cup wherever you want, whether you are on your laptop somewhere, or on your tablet,” he said.

Dubbed “Fuel your rivalry,” the campaign theme was inspired by a personal experience Grupo Gallegos’ executive creative director, Juan Oubiña, had.

“He is from Argentina, married to a Mexican woman,” Mellow said. “He said that in their household during World Cup, all of a sudden your best friend, your lover, is an enemy for the month. And that really fueled the idea that all these circles of friends, during the tournament, become rivals.”

The agency created several 30-second TV ads that were filmed at a food court in a mall and showcase restaurant owners—a Mexican, Italian, American and Brazilian—making fun of each other’s teams.

The TV spots will run before and after the games on Univision in markets in which Comcast operates.

The social media extension of the TV campaign is “really about, ‘Let’s give people mime images (a photo superimposed with words), video [clips] that they could send to their friends from another country, to smack talk a little bit,’ ” he said.


The team has created a photo library of all of the characters from the TV spots “shot in different poses, some happy and some sad.”

“The first score [during the opening game] was an own goal by Brazil, so we created a mime right away that had a Brazilian guy from our campaign [with his face in his hands] and it said, ‘What happened?’ in Spanish,” Mellow said. “So we put that out, and it got shared 30 times within the first 15 minutes. It was just one of those things that someone can take and say, ‘OK, I’m going to forward that to my friend in Brazil and razz him a little bit.’

“We know that people are going to be able to get their soccer news from a lot of different places, so that’s not really why our fans would follow [the brand’s] page. We try to find (the) most natural way to push out content without tweeting out scores or someone got a red card.”

Privately held Grupo Gallegos had an estimated $20 million in revenue in 2013. Its client roster includes the California Milk Processor Board in San Clemente; Wonderful Pistachios; Clorox Co.; Ashland Inc.’s Valvoline; Foster Farms; and G6 Hospitality LLC’s Motel 6 brand.

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