London 2012 Watch: Marketers Look to Facebook for Olympic Gold


The last Summer Olympics were in 2008. That’s seven katrillion years in technology years. Much has changed since then and marketers are planning to put extra emphasis on an area that has grown exponentially in the last four human years: social media.

Brand marketers are particularly interested in using Facebook to boost their brands this summer. After all, you fish where the fish are — and Facebook had 794 million people visiting it each month of last year, spending an average (per comScore) of six hours per visit.[more]

The London 2012 Olympics itself is on Facebook, while organizers are also creating a social platform, the Olympic Athletes Hub, for competitors and fans to connect during the game by integrating Twitter and Facebook conversations into one stream.

“Back in 2008, it was very much about paid media,” stated Mark Renshaw, chief innovation officer at Leo Burnett, to Reuters. “Now the reason they want to have a relationship (with consumers) is to generate shared media.” Online marketing back then was all about building websites. Nowadays, of course, marketers have a lot more ways to engage their audience.

Samsung, for example, is promoting the Olympic Genome Project on its Facebook page, featuring a game called “How Olympic Are You?” that allows participants to find “athletes from their hometowns, or athletes who like the same music or movies they do.” And, of course, participants can win Samsung discounts or a trip to the Games.

Facebook “is where consumers are,” Samsung CMO Ralph Santan told Reuters. “If you can figure out how to build communities around your brand, it’s really powerful.” Visitors to the page stay for about eight minutes, he added, about double the time they spend on Samsung’s regular sites.

Official sponsor Coca-Cola is promoting its global London 2012 campaign — the teen-skewing, music-based “Move to the Beat” effort — on Facebook, signing a deal with Spotify this week to boost engagement on its Facebook page through the booming music app.

Marc Pritchard, P&G’s global marketing and brand building officer, this week unveiled its London 2012 “Thank You Mom” global campaign, praising athletes’ moms (and, by extension, all mothers).

Pritchard tells Reuters he’s hoping online viewers will “like” the campaign video on Facebook and drive traffic to its brand-specific Facebook pages promoting Tide detergent, Pampers diapers, Oil of Olay moisturizers, and Cover Girl cosmetics.

“What we want to try to do is get a 10 percent lift on our Facebook brand pages,” he commented, so that P&G adds 5 million to its fan base of 50 million over the next few months. “That would be a lot quicker than we normally do.”