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On Friday the 5th of August Brazil launched their opening ceremony for the 31st Olympic games in Rio de Janerio. Athletes across the world are now battling it out over the next 2 weeks, 4 including the Paralympics, to become the best in their respective field. However, the athletes are not the only ones that are competing in the Olympics, the marketing world has been building numerous campaigns which are now in full swing, across different countries and amongst a variety of brands. Organisations have had to battle to stand out, represent the games and better their campaigns, aiming to appeal to fans across the world to help build anticipation and spread their brand name. So, who has won the battle for the Olympic winning marketing campaign?
It’s no surprise that budgets are increasing year-on-year with nearly 900 million viewers tuning into the London 2012 games. This year we have seen many agencies and brands take a different approach to really try and stand out in their marketing campaigns. Notably, we have seen our most social campaigns ever offering different ways for us, the viewer, to participate in the event.
The following campaigns are not only forward thinking but demonstrate brands attempt to connect with fans emotionally and virtually across the world with the use of storytelling and visual effects. Gone are the days where brands sponsored events just to promote and sell their products, they now value the importance of social media and recognise that providing a 360 experience can have an ever lasting impact on fans.
"London was really just the start of what it meant to be social and to be part of the Olympic Games.
In a few weeks’ time, we’re going to look back and really see what
it means to see a true ‘Social Olympics’ unfold."
Kate Hartman, Director of global brand PR for The Coca-Cola Company
Here are four of our notable campaigns this year:
The “Perfect isn’t Pretty” campaign features American decathlete Ashton Eaton, Brazilian footballer Neymar, Chinese swimmer Ning Zetao and British cyclist Andy Tennant. The video demonstrates the darker side of training and the struggle that the athletes put their bodies through.
“At Gillette we understand that the journey towards precision is long, and often overlooked in favour of the end result.”
“We’re proud of the razors that we design and manufacture because we understand that behind every great shave was years of precise engineering. The same is true for athletes preparing for the Olympic Games.”
Kurt Iverson, communications leader of Gillette North America
Bringing Britain and Team GB together, Nissan’s campaign has taken a unique view by giving fans the opportunity to experience athletes training programme. Working with the British Olympic and Paralympic teams they are also offering tickets to the games as a prize. The personal touch to this campaign is the focus on the actual training programmes and daily schedules rather than cinematic shots. This campaign is a prime example of how our Olympic games are becoming the most social we have experienced.
What gets you started? Kellogg’s are the official sponsor of TeamGB and are running a social campaign to get fans day off to a “great start”. They are offering the chance to win tickets to the games if you text in a code from their cereal boxes. They have also used Olympic medallists of the past – Steve Redgrave, Rebecca Adlington and Louis Smith to gain traction in the market.
Leo Burnett Chicago and Leo Burnett Sydney have created an interesting advertising campaign which includes television and digital advertisement for Samsung. Once again they have used sporting stars from across the globe. “The Anthem” featuring six sportspersons from different countries, opens with a young Australian girl singing a verse from the Botswana national anthem into the company's Galaxy S7 Edge and then goes on a journey to capture and share national anthems of different countries sung by athletes and fans, finally merging into a new anthem. By singing one anthem, fans and athletes across the globe can feel a shared sense of pride and unity and together celebrate collective progress, which is integral to the spirit of the Olympic Games.
Notably, another campaign Samsung have brought to our attention is the powerful and inspiring story of Margret Rumat Rumat Hassan. Margret is representing South Sudan, the newest country to be recognised by the IOC, who will have their first-ever Olympic team competing. Samsung have done an incredible job of bringing this iconic moment to life with “The Chant” with, of course, a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
An estimated one billion viewers from around the globe witnessed Brazil make a bold statement by cutting production costs and highlighting the impact of climate change around the world. Whilst these brand campaigns have inspired and have captured the true atmosphere of the games, what the world is talking about now is the legacy of the opening games. If the Olympic winning campaign is based on this then surely the opening ceremony has ticked the creativity, originality and lasting impact boxes.
From a branding perspective all of the above campaigns have captured the spirit of the games in their own unique way. These campaigns demonstrate that whilst the Olympics are the pinnacle of the athletes’ careers, they also generate huge opportunities for marketers around the globe. Brands will have a lot to do in preparation for Tokyo 2020 and should take a leaf from Brazil’s campaign to highlight not only the importance of the games but what brands and fans have the power of achieving with a greater focus on Corporate Social Responsibility.