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Five different faces of marketing at the London 2012 Olympics
Sarah | August 6, 2012
With the intensity of the marketing activity surrounding the London 2012 Olympics almost matching the excitement of the Games themselves, here’s a look at five different approaches official sponsors have taken to raise profile and attract positive associations through their links to the spectacle:
1. Crowdsourced Advertising
Making use of an increasingly popular trend in marketing, McDonalds has compiled an entire ad campaign from user-generated content to support and plug its sponsorship of the games. Out of more than 20,000 submissions from members of the public showing their support for the Games, the fast food giant has put together press, digital and outdoor ads featuring 60 Team GB supporters, with individual descriptions such as ‘The flag-waving piggy backer’ and ‘The come-on come-on-er’, under the strapline ‘We all make the Games’. A TV campaign will be launched to coincide with the closing ceremony.
2. Athlete Endorsement
Sponsors have flocked to show their support for star name athletes competing at the Games, with Team GB members attracting the most interest as brands look to cash in on the high profile of a home Olympics in the UK. Heptathlete star Jessica Ennis has been dubbed ‘the face of the Games’ by marketing analysts after British Airways, P&G and Adidas all launched specific campaigns to encourage support for the reigning Olympic champion ahead of the start of the track and field events.Twitter has become a particular focus of all three brands’ attempts to rally the public behind her.
3. Social Media
With the prominence and popularity of social media in a different stratosphere to what it was when the Olympics were held in Beijing four years ago, London 2012 is being dubbed the ‘social games’, with interaction between competitors and fans at unprecedented levels. Marketers are getting in on the action too, with virtually every major sponsor launching a dedicated Twitter hashtag to drive conversations surrounding their campaigns.
4. The Marketing Anthem
Music has always had an integral role to play in event-based marketing, and few brands know how to make an anthem work better than Coca-cola. An official Olympic sponsor for 50 years, the soft drinks giant has taken an innovative approach this time around, commissioning top DJ and producer Mark Ronson and singer Katy B to compose a sports-themed track made up of sound-bites taken from actual sporting events and stars. The resulting track, ‘Move to the Beat’, has already grabbed huge vital attention through YouTube, showing how Coca-Cola’s traditional use of music to promote its brand is also moving with the times.
5. Olympic Imagery
There can be few symbols as iconic as the Olympic rings, and a number of brands have focused their London 2012 marketing around the image. United Colors of Benetton has stuck to its long-standing campaign to raise awareness about HIV with a striking poster and press campaign depicting the Olympic rings made up of coloured condoms, while artist Sarah Hyndman has created a series of ‘alternative’ Olympic posters picturing the rings made up of everyday objects that many critics have lauded as far better than the official posters.
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