Olympic Gold for Athletes and Marketers

medal-3-1389985-mWith the XXII Winter Olympics underway in Sochi, Russia, a variety of themed ads have viewers overwhelmed as part of the estimated $1 billion in sponsors and advertising. Some of these advertisers are repeat sponsors (NBC, GM, McDonalds) in addition to some new supporters.

Century 21, a first-time Olympics sponsor supporting the US men’s and women’s bobsled and skeleton teams will run commercials branding its “Smarter. Bolder. Faster.” theme in a new way. This is a great example of retrofitting a creative concept into a new timely message.

From a recent article in The New York Times, Trudy Hardy, vice president for marketing at BMW of North America, said her company was “super excited” and making “a huge investment” in the Winter Olympics as part of a six-year sponsorship with the US Olympic Committee (during the 2012 Summer Games, BMW was also a Team USA sponsor).

So far this year advertisers have seemed to focus on how they got there (the background stories) instead of that single moment of shining Gold… or Silver or Bronze. And I’ve enjoyed this more realistic approach.

Then there’s Coca-cola, who despite the backlash from Super Bowl viewers that the “America the Beautiful” spot was sung in multiple languages including English, ran an extended version of the spot during the opening ceremonies… I for one am proud of our country’s rich history of diversity, what better way to communicate this than to feature these cultures. The spot is an excellent fit with the Olympics.

But the glass isn’t half full for everyone. Aside from political controversy about Russia’s laws, a satirical Twitter feed @SochiProblems has 109,000 followers , nearly as many followers as the official Sochi2014 feed – 125,000 followers. (The feed is quite funny to read if you have the chance.) The Power of Social Media continues to impact global events and activities like the Olympics. Many advertisers have also capitalized on this new format, bringing messages across platforms and engaging with consumers as they cheer for their favorite athletes.

Where do you feel marketers were most successful this year? Do you think they’ve taken the right approach to connecting with viewers and their changing attitudes of what makes someone a GOLD athlete?

Either way, I’m looking forward to see who wins and which athletes will have marketers knocking on their door for endorsements.

 

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About promotionalguru

A marketing communications professional helping other marketing professionals, business leaders and marketing students gain a better understanding of trends in advertising and public relations as well as tips for being a successful marketer.

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