The 2012 London Olympics was deemed the most expensive games in history. Global brands wouldn’t miss such an opportunity to flash their products and logos around. From McDonald’s to Visa, the expansive field of brands – both official partners and otherwise – are spending multi-million dollars marketing bonanza which British media owners hope will create a much-needed golden summer of advertising. Here’s our choice of the best ads of the 2012 London Olympics.
Coming together to cheer as one is the theme of Visa’s “The Difference” Olympic ad created by TBWA/Chiat/Day. The aim? To encourage people to submit a supportive cheer for Olympic and Paralympic athletes in the form of a click, post, photo or video. Part of the brand’s “Go World” strategy, the largest push in its 25 year history as an Olympic sponsor, the global cheer initiative uses popular social media platforms along with TV, digital advertising and user promotions to help inspire more than 60 Visa-sponsored athletes.
U.K. power company EDF Energy will illuminate the London Eye during the Olympic Games and Paralympics with a light show made from Games-related tweets. The “Energy of the Nation” initiative will measure the nation’s mood using data from 10 million U.K. Twitter users with tweets filtered by brand experience agency Ignite and a team of graduates from MIT.
8| Coca Cola
Coca-Cola’s Olympic strategy, “Move to the Beat,” is all about getting teens excited about the Olympics by tapping into their passion for music and fusing it with sport.
7| British Airways
London 2012 official airline is, naturally, British Airways and its Olympic strategy, with advertising by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, includes “Home Advantage”–a deliciously counter-intuitive plea by the national airline for Brits not to fly during the Games.
Non-sponsor Nike’s own particular brand of rebellion comes in the form of a spot that encourages you, the athlete at any level, to “Find Your Greatness” and spotlights athletes that, completely coincidentally, happen to be finding their greatness in towns and cities called London (London Ontario, London, Ohio, etc).
Lego’s just-launched Olympic outdoor campaign, “Great building, Great Britain,” is for its new Team GB mini figure range spanning boxers to sprinters and gymnasts. No less than 35 ads have been created by agency Dazzleship featuring different Lego Team GB figures smiling above a strapline wishing each athlete good luck.
4| The Guardian
The newspaper’s interactive team developed his retro-styled interactive game to mark London 2012 and pay homage to the 8-bit console classics of the 1980s. “Could You Be a Medalist?” was inspired by The Guardian’s Sport Editor, Sean Ingle, with design by Jamie Lenman. The crude chip tone background music is courtesy of Jordan Gray, a.k.a. DJ Starpause.
3| Procter & Gamble
‘Being a mom is the hardest job in the world,’ the ad says, ‘but it’s also the best.’ Weeks after launch, this spot is still riding high in the U.K. viral charts. Beyond advertising, the Moms campaign extends to an on-site presence at the games, based around the “Family Home,” dubbed a “home away from home” for athletes and their families. P&G also surprised moms with tickets to the games’ much-anticipated opening ceremony.
2| Channel 4 Paralympics
A striking 90-second TV ad is the current highlight of Channel 4′s multi-million pound “Meet the Superhumans” strategy–the broadcaster’s biggest single marketing push in its 30 year history.
The latest installment of Adidas’ “Take the Stage” Olympics strategy is a simple yet striking print and TV push focused on top British athletes.
With its reputation for controversial advertising it was only a matter of time before Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, not an official Olympic sponsor, crossed swords with LOCOG (the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games)–which it did just days before the Games’ opening. By sponsoring an egg and spoon race to take place in the Burgundy, France town of London on August 1, Paddy Power claims in its current poster campaign to be: “Official sponsor of the largest athletics event in London this year! (Ahem, London France that is).” LOCOG’s response–to instruct outdoor company JCDecaux to remove the campaign from high profile sites–prompted the bookmaker to instruct its lawyers. However on July 25, LOCOG backed down.