Brands love to take advantage of the events to boost their marketing. From using world emoji day to launching new emoji-themed products to spending over $5 million on Super Bowl ads. The Olympics are no exception. Olympic marketing has become a big business. With the games set to start today, we reflect on some top examples of Olympic marketing to get you inspired as you cheer on your favourite athletes.
You can’t talk about Olympic marketing without talking about Coca-Cola. This is a brand that has run some amazing marketing campaigns over the years and is constantly an inspiration and guide to marketers (no matter what you think about the company, it does marketing well).
One of its most impressive marketing achievements is being the Olympic's longest-standing partner. It has been an Olympic partner since 1928 and has used various marketing campaigns over the years to promote its beverages and the Olympics.
The reason why this is all a particularly notable Olympic marketing campaign is that the beverage that Coca-Cola is most famous for is not what many would consider a ‘healthy’ drink. And yet the Olympics is an event centred around health and athleticism.
Even if you are not a fan of sports, or the Olympics, you have probably heard of Michael Phelps, the Gold Medal winning swimmer.
Under Armor has been running their “It’s what you do in the dark that puts you in the light. Rule Yourself” campaign for a while that highlights athletes' success. For the 2016 Olympics, they ran an ad with Michael Phelps, that was not only a great and moving ad but had an excellent campaign strategy to go with.
The video ad was released on social media and blog titles that took a click-bait style that worked wonders. The ad was released with captions and an intro that went something along the lines of “Michael Phelps cries while watching THIS commercial”. This was a great marketing strategy. Everyone wanted to know what would have made Michael Phelps cry, and clicked through to watch the ad.
When we talk about Olympic marketing, we typically stick to sports brands. From athletic wear to sports drinks, Olympic marketing is normally centred around health and fitness.
However, in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Samsung had a hugely successful marketing campaign that did not really have anything to do with fitness.
Back in 2000, Samsung was not the player it is today in the mobile phone space. Nokia was ruling the market. But Samsung took on the sponsorship as the official wireless communications partner for the games.
This led to a huge increase in sales for their handsets and they even launched a special edition Olympic phone.
With the Olympic games being postponed for a year, new and unexpected challenges were presented to many brands around their marketing.
For example, many athletic wear brands had Olympic merchandise ready to be released for the expected games in 2021. Asics is a Gold Partner for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It went ahead and released its Olympic collection in the summer of 2020 with full 2020 branding.
With many brands having already released collections and having nothing to release for this summer to coincide with the new date for the Olympics, they are switching focus to athletic sponsorship.
Brands have always sponsored athletes. However, this year we are seeing a lot more brands promoting their athletes in the run-up to the games. For example, if you head to the Athleta Instagram page, you will see their feed is all things, Simone Biles.
Tieing your marketing strategy to nationals or international events can lead your brand to huge success. It generates exposure, shows the audience your brand is relevant and connects with people in spaces they love.
To keep on top of all the relevant action for the Olympics in Tokyo, set up a custom Stream and use Olympic content to engage your audience and position your brand as a thought leader.
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