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London 2012 Olympic Advertising

Published: July 2012

The arrival of the London Olympics 2012 has caused a snowball of sports-themed TV advertisements popping up on our screens and capitalising from the events media coverage.

To celebrate the countdown to Olympics we have selected our favourite Olympic advertising piggybacking on the nation’s interest in the games.

So whether they promote a particular product or overall brand values… which one is your favourite?

1. Visa

Have you ever watched the beginning of a film, programme or competition and kept watching until the end because you must know the outcome? Visa’s TV advertising collaboration with Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is made with you in mind!

The intrigue begins when Bolt is challenged to race by a member of a public – the connection to Visa and the Olympics is not clear yet which keeps the audience guessing. The entertaining advert sees Bolt and challenger race through the streets of London with only their Visa to hand, with the racetrack being the finish line.

Visa have taken a light-hearted approach to the games and, with so many affiliate companies focusing on the seriousness of the race itself, it is good to see a jovial approach to the games promoting a brands message so well.

2. Coca Cola


Who needs instruments when you’ve got athletes?

London musician Mark Ronson created the official 2012 Olympic track using mainly the sounds of sport from 5 Olympic hopefuls.

The array of international competitors have contributed to the tune by simply playing their sport; ping-pong, archery, gymnastics, martial arts and running – the ultimate combination of music and sport it seems.

3. Proctor & Gamble


Proctor & Gamble’s message could be one of the subtlest from an official sponsor.

The TV advert does not focus on their products and how it helps the athletes, how much the company has supported the event, or even how the brand values could be compared to the determination of competitors. The advert simply appeals to those who have supported the athletes from the start; the mums.

By engaging with this target audience P&G have realised the importance of using a ‘soft sell’ to promote the brand to those who do the weekly shop and are potential purchasers of their products.

4. Nintendo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7kSHZIHc9Q
What would you do if Mario and Sonic joined you for dinner? Quite a tenuous link to the London 2012 Olympics but a fun advert nonetheless.

Nintendo have demonstrated that they are head-and-shoulders above the rest when it comes to planning as their Olympic-themed video game has been available to buy since November 2011!

Many of the Olympic sponsors have been criticised for not making the most of their connection to the games but Nintendo deserve credit for thinking ahead and launching their product (and live action advertising) well in advance.

5. Adidas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRN_nAqFA6s
The ‘Take the Stage’ campaign from Adidas cleverly summarises the anticipation and build-up of the athlete’s emotions throughout training and preparation for their event –and all in a 60 second clip.

Focusing on a more serious and powerful message than some of the other non-official sponsors, Adidas have emphasised the brands dedication to sport and ‘Heart over head’ attitude to patriotism.

6. Omega


The smart combination of well-angled camera shots and a meaningful song choice has worked wonders for the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer, Omega.

The company has held ‘Official Timekeeper of the Olympics’ status for 25 years (over the last 80 years), assuring themselves as a high-quality, reliable market leader. To celebrate 50 years since the Rolling Stones formation, their hit “Start Me Up” has been used to emphasise how important the few minutes before the athlete competes can be!

Like this advert? You can even join the conversation on Twitter #StartMeUp

7. Samsung


As well as raising brand awareness, Samsung are using their Olympic sponsorship to interact with their customers.

By offering 20 pairs of tickets to competition winners Samsung are engaging with their audience by launching a Mash-Up video featuring the winners themselves! It’s simple and fun to enter; the audience choose their ‘Olympic event’ to enter, film a 5 second clip of them moving from one side of the screen to the other then upload it to YouTube for Samsung’s approval. Engagement at its finest.

8. Cadbury


Cadbury are making the most of their brand ambassadors and are featuring them heavily in their TV advertising campaign; tying their products to the Olympics seamlessly.

Cadbury’s Spots v Stripes travelling campaign aims to get children around the UK participating in fun outdoor challenges. The roadshow focuses on communities coming together to have fun with a variety of games, and not necessarily promoting athletic or sport-related activities.
Nearly 14,000 people have participated in the Spots v Stripes community programme games at over 225 events across the UK and Ireland.

9. McDonalds


You would expect a lot from an official sponsor who has used television adverts to promote their products so heavily in the past.

Perhaps I’m surprised by their subtlety, or maybe I’m expecting a bigger push in the last fortnight before the games begin but nonetheless, McDonalds have done what hardly any of the other sponsors have done – incorporated Olympics mascots Wenlock & Mandeville into their children-focused TV advertisements.

I was beginning to wonder what the mascots were up to – turns out they’ve been eating Happy Meals.

Have you seen the Olympic logos through the ages yet? How times have changed! We also looked at our favourite Olympic food packaging!

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