The fate of Benefit’s World Cup pub now England are out – was it worth it?

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

The fate of Benefit’s World Cup pub now England are out – was it worth it?
Beauty brand Benefit Cosmetics had hoped to tackle the branding opportunity of the ongoing FIFA World Cup with a novel crowd-pleasing idea: a pop-up beauty pub aimed explicitly at women in London’s Covent Garden.

But with England knocked out of the tournament so soon, the risk of football fever fizzling out now runs high – with such a short run, does this leave the marketing campaign as a bit of an own goal?

Ahead of England’s last match, we catch up with the brand to find out how the pub is faring.

Striking branding

At the start of the sporting tournament, the beauty brand took over the ‘Gabbi's Head’ Prince of Wales pub, transforming it into the pop-up ‘football-meets-beauty’ space, with pink pub furniture and soft furnishings.

Benefit beauty pub
The beauty pub

The pub proves a very distinctive platform for the company’s branding, with wine tastings, karaoke and cosmetics events such as brow waxes and make-overs filling the schedule for the duration of the tournament.

But England’s lacklustre performance has meant a sudden and early end to the country’s world cup journey, exposing the potential risks of such seasonal branding drives; Benefit, however, says the pub certainly has not been left high and dry.

Speaking to Cosmetics Design, Hannah Webley-Smith, Benefit’s marketing director, and Jamie Posner, director at DeVries Slam, the PR firm which orchestrated the campaign, dispelled any fears that enthusiasm for the pub may have run out.

This weekend was busier than ever as World Cup fever seems to have taken over London, despite England now not being in the running​,” the pair confirmed.

We have had a full pub daily since we opened the doors to Gabbi’s Head and it is has been so exciting to meet so many genuine, passionate Benefit fans,​” they told

Relevant regardless

Benefit has mobilised to make the pub platform relevant regardless of the turn in the country’s sporting fortunes, ensuring the pub’s continued success.

“There is always something happening in the pub that will appeal to Benefit fans, whether they’re following the tournament or not​,” noted Posner and Webley-Smith of the events on offer.

The brand says it launched the concept only in the UK, with no similar events in place for other markets, but this is now a possibility for future campaigns.

This is a UK activation, but who knows what will happen next and in which market​,” the brand confirmed. “We would definitely do something similar again​.”

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