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Back Talk: What Olympic Campaigns Scored Gold?

They seem to have passed in a blink of an eye, but the 2012 Summer Olympics will surely remain top of mind, and not just for the Fab Five’s tumbles, Michael Phelps’ strokes, or Usain Bolt’s impressive sprints. Both official and unofficial brands are proving the marketability of the Summer Games. While official Olympics sponsor Adidas announced Friday its sales are up 11% globally, or $8.95 billion, U.S. gold had little to do with it; the German sportswear company only outfitted the men’s and women’s gymnastics teams for the United States. Still, the company estimates it clothed some 83,000 people, from athletes to ushers. Leading up to and during the first 10 days of the Games, TV ads from Chobani yogurt, GE and Coca-Cola earned the highest average Ace Scores among official Team USA and London Olympics sponsors. Meanwhile, guerrilla brands such as fast-food chain Subway, FedEx, wine retailer Oddbins, and Nike were on their toes to compete against official sponsors, including Adidas, McDonald’s and UPS. Oddbins went full guerilla by promoting a 30% discount to customers who turned up with products from Pepsi, MasterCard, Nike and four other competitors of official sponsors. The brand’s web traffic increased 22% following the campaign launch, according to Experian. Also notable was Nike’s spur-of-the-moment ad campaign celebrating British marathon runner Paula Radcliffe, who was forced to pull out of competition due to a foot injury. The ad featured Radcliffe holding a Union Jack overhead with the message: Legends Run Forever. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Maybe I’m just blogging out loud, but it seems like marketers can learn a lot from the Olympics, even after they’re over. When given the chance to celebrate excellence, brands win and consumers respond. Still, intention is key.

Which prompts the question: Which Olympic campaigns struck marketing gold for you? Did you have a particular favorite Olympic marketing moment?

Please leave a comment in the section below, or join the conversation on the Vertical Marketing Network Facebook page.

Brought to you by Vertical Marketing Network, a Leading Integrated Marketing Agency.

About JJ Nelson

Freelance blogger for Vertical Marketing Network; food writer; bartender.

7 comments on “Back Talk: What Olympic Campaigns Scored Gold?

  1. Blogging Out Loud
    July 27, 2016

    Reblogged this on Blogging Out Loud and commented:

    This blog was presented prior to the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics and still rings true today.


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  5. Megan
    August 16, 2012

    I gotta says hats off to Nike as I thought they were the official sponsor since they clothed the USA track team, NBC broadcasters, and several other teams as well. I honestly had no idea Adidas was the official sponsor as I hardly saw any teams outfitted by them. Sucks for Adidas.


  6. Irene
    August 15, 2012

    Nike showed just how up to speed they were on Olympics- while not an official sponsor, they capitalized on opportunities very quickly. It’s clear that they were keeping a close eye on everything happening, and turned an unfortunate situation into an inspirational ad.


  7. Addie Van Gessel
    August 14, 2012

    Chobani gets my vote for sure. Their story told via TV spots prompted me to try the stuff again…and I’m a convert as far as the Greek yogurts are concerned! P&G did well with their “tribute to Moms” as well.

    As far as the gueriila tactics goes, heard a funny story on NPR yesterday about “unofficial condoms” floating around the Olympic village and the IOC and official condom sponsors not being pleased at all.


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This entry was posted on August 14, 2012 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , .

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