Today's Brandlympics round-up is brought to you by field hockey, the London 2012 Olympics sport celebrated in today's Google homepage logo:
Government Not Relaxing Olympic Marketing Ban for Months
The architects of London’s new arenas and sporting venues would like the world to know who they are and what they’ve done, but London won’t allow it. Due to the strict marketing rules in place, the venues can only be associated with London 2012 and the Olympics and not be used to market anyone or anything that hasn’t shelled out the millions it takes to be an official sponsor. And that rule isn’t expected to disappear before year’s end. This, of course, has left the architects unhappy. “The end of the year’s no good,” said Angela Brady, the president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, to BDOnline. “All eyes are on London right now. I want the architects to be able to stand proudly in front of their buildings and talk about them to international TV crews. These rules are against the whole spirit of the Olympics. Crushing the small guy is just not on.”
Visa Going Hard on Mobile, Facebook for the Games
For the first time, Olympics sponsor Visa used actual video and photo cheers from fans in the U.S. that were submitted via Visa’s Cheer application on Facebook to star alongside Michael Phelps in its Olympics advertising. The real-time congratulatory spot, entitled “Congratulations Michael,” aired on NBC following his win in the 4 x 200m freestyle relay. Leading up to the London 2012 Olympic Games, Phelps appeared in a number of the Morgan Freeman-voiced "Go World" commercials including "The Difference" and "100th of a Second" and was featured in more than 40 countries as part of Visa’s global marketing campaign. Visa isn’t just throwing its money at being an official sponsor of the Games. The company is also making a big push in mobile marketing for these Games. “When developing the Go World campaign and thinking about how to launch it in the United States, the key was understanding the consumer, and mobile is increasingly where they are spending their time,” said Alex Craddock, head of North America marketing for Visa Inc., Los Angeles, according to Mobile Marketer. “We needed to think about mobile as a key part of the marketing mix and ensure that we use an optimized experience.” The ads focus on 12 different Visa-sponsored athletes.
Fruit of the Loom Grabbing Olympic Opportunity
When one thinks of the Olympics, underwear isn’t generally the first thing to pop to mind, but Fruit of the Loom is aiming to change that, mainly with five new ads that are running during the Games. Called “Move to Comfort,” the campaign focuses on the fact that comfort is key whether you are going for the gold at the Olympics or just aiming to make the bus. Through broadcast and print ads, social media, a new website that “features the brand’s first e-commerce functionality,” Fruit of the Loom is going all out. “’Move to Comfort’ is a high-energy campaign that features real people who bring the ‘movement’ message to life, and fresh sounds and energy from up-and-coming musicians that reflect our brand’s fun and colorful personality,” said Kelly Thompson, SVP of brand communications for Fruit of the Loom. The ads feature everyday people with incredible talents: breakdancers, ballerinas, skateboarders, yogis, and gymnasts. The TV ads also feature music from “up-and-coming artists” such as Mako, Mindy Gledhill, Annie Automatic, Gram Rabbit and Whisper City.
Hostess Awards Twinkie for Effort
Hostess Brands may not be an official sponsor of the Olympics — after all, what company that has filed for bankruptcy for the second time in 10 years could afford to be? — but that doesn’t mean it’s not skirting all the marketing rules the London Organizing Committee put into place and using the Games to their marketing advantage. Its new campaign tells consumers to go for the gold and grab themselves a Twinkie while showing the efforts of some of the world’s worst athletes. Hilarious. Watch more here.
Influx of American Retailers in Britain
While it may seem taboo these days to mention the word “London” in conjunction with any brands that aren’t officially associated with the Olympics, there are a few U.S. retailing brands that aren’t worried about that and “the past few months have seen an incredible influx of US stores, opening for the first time in the UK,” according to Marketing Week. The idea is that “the large numbers of overseas Olympic visitors (will) give the US brands a level of global visibility and, despite the current double-dip recession, these brands believe that UK consumers will still spend on the right products and services.” Wonder if these brands are bumming now since the Olympic crowds aren’t as abundant as predicted.
...While London Businesses Still Waiting for the Onslaught
When you hear that the Olympics are coming, you generally think massive crowds, but London businesses aren’t seeing it. Tourists who normally would come to London have been scared off and those in town for the Games aren’t apparently taking advantage of all the rest the city has to offer, such as fantastic dining and theater. According to Time.com, the city is only expecting 100,000 visitors in the next few weeks instead of the usual 300,000 so “the capital will offer plenty of discounts as businesses scramble to make up the lost numbers at hotels, restaurants, theaters and gyms.” Looks like the extra $20 billion in economic activity that the Games was supposed to generate isn’t going to happen.
...Which Explains Why London Subway Warnings Dropped
There was some concern that things would get a little overcrowded in the streets and on the trains of London during the Olympics. So the folks responsible for the Underground had Mayor Boris Johnson record a message that was played on the trains that warned passengers to be aware that there would be a lot of crowding. That crowding has so far not been a real issue so the anyone riding the Tube will no longer hear Johnson’s message. Perhaps it will resurface later in the Games or as part of some museum exhibit or time capsule years from now.
Twitter admits that it told NBC about Olympic tweeter
Twitter, where the world’s population expresses its beliefs in 140 characters or less, has dug itself a little bit of a PR hole. The company that helped rebellious residents of a few Arab countries get together to change the world during the Arab Spring of 2010 has now helped squelch the voice of a British commentator who was offering up complaints of NBC’s coverage of the Olympics. The social-media site “has admitted that it told NBC that someone was making fun of its Olympic coverage so that the broadcaster could make a complaint and get their account taken down,” according to TheInquirer.net. Twitter, of course, has partnered with NBC for the Olympics so it appears that business sense trumped the concept of freedom of expression. NBC, meanwhile, is touting Facebook stats during Ryan Seacrest's segments on social media.
NBC “Today” Show Ad Spoils Olympics For Viewers
Just before NBC ran the tape delay of 17-year-old Missy Franklin swimming for a gold medal with the backstroke Monday night, the network aired an ad for Tuesday morning’s “Today Show” that kind of blew the whole ending for those who had yet to see the race. “When you’re 17 years old and win your first gold medal, there’s nobody you’d rather share it with,” the promo said, showing Franklin with her parents, according to the Daily Beast. Oops. NBC has apologized, and promised to pay closer attention to not giving away the ending to events in such teasers as the Games going on.
Even So, NBCUniversal Breaking Even on the Games
Comcast-owned NBCUniversal may be enjoying the best Olympics ever in the ratings department but it isn’t thinking that the company will make any dough from the massive event. The word from the Hollywood Reporter is that NBC and its sister networks televising the Olympics in America will break even and, at one point, even projected a $200 million loss on the event. However, CEO Steve Burke told those on an earnings call that it is expected that the company will make money on future Olympics.
American Athletes Will All Get Gold
While 534 U.S. athletes all came into the Games looking to earn gold medals, not all of them will walk away with the coveted material. Not to worry! O.C. Tanner, which bills itself as an “international appreciation and recognition company” that has its headquarters in Salt Lake City, is giving every U.S. Olympian and Paralympian a commemorative ring. Sweet! Athletes can customize the rings as well. Plus, unlike the team’s uniforms, the rings are made in America. The company is also using social media to promote itself as well, asking athletes to nominate friends, parents, coaches, whoever they want for “Inspiration Awards.” The public will pick the best two via Facebook, the U.S. Olympic Committee will pick a third, and the winners will receive rings as well.
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