To help you get ready for the games, this week’s insights will feature some of the most interesting, controversial and important marketing stories from the lead up to Rio 2016, as well as a link to a my own curated YouTube playlist of marketing from all kinds of brands from around the world. I hope it all help you get as excited as I am for the next couple of weeks!
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The Worst Men On The Internet
It is hard to separate the Olympic Games from the emotional human advertising that brands create every four years to celebrate perseverance, dedication, moms (and sadly far less often, dads). If you lack the patience to suffer through watching the ads in real time, I have created a master playlist of (currently) more than 30 ads and plan to add to it throughout these next two weeks. If you want to see all the ads in one place, I highly suggest bookmarking the link below and feel free to share with me any videos I might have missed!
NBC & Google’s Big Plan To Get Millennials To Tune In
Beyond the usual tear jerking ads, a more important story from the Olympics is the smart media strategy that is being embraced by both NBC and Google to attract younger viewers. NBC announced moves to partner with social influencers and platforms like BuzzFeed to bring TV-averse Millennials into their coverage. Meanwhile Google is sending 15 YouTube stars to create content and chronicle the Games from within. Both moves are likely to generate more authentic, human and less sappy coverage that will be a welcome change, delivered on platforms an in formats that even attract audiences who have sworn off TV or Cable.
Samsung Builds More Powerful Brand Than Apple (And Looks To Win In Rio)
If any brand is set to capitalize on its big Olympics investment, it is Samsung. The brand has plans to use its megastores across Brazil to offer collectible pins that are already going viral. They have a special edition Olympics branded phone. Their advertising campaign focuses on humanity and unity and all the things that are beautiful about the Olympics. Oh, and a recent survey noted they have a higher brand reputation than Apple thanks to their mission. Yes, these next few weeks should be good ones for Samsung.
Golf’s Stars/Divas Choose Money Over Sportsmanship
In a string of widely criticized moves, many of golf’s top stars have chosen to skip the Olympics, blaming their absence conveniently on the Zika virus. The truth, as this scathing piece in USA Today notes, is that Golf should probably never have been introduced back into the Olympics anyway. The upheaval in Olympic Golf is casting the sport and its players in a negative light, causing headaches for Olympic sponsors like Coca-Cola who had campaigns reliant on golf stars, and adding fuel to the argument that Golf should never have been added back into the Olympics in the first place.
Rule 42 And The Rush To Ambush The Olympics
Every time the Olympics comes around, the ambush marketing strategies come front and center as well. Months before the Games, the big news was that the relaxing of notorious “Rule 42” would allow more athletes to talk about other brand affiliations and other brands to launch campaigns as long as they fit some restrictive criteria. Now the games are about to start, several small businesses are complaining the relaxing of the rule doesn’t go far enough. Meanwhile, Under Armour is one brand poised to win big thanks to it’s early sponsorship of Michael Phelps and the recent news that the decorated swimmer will be the torch bearer for the United States.
Gender Issues Get A Global Spotlight
One of the most interesting social issues to watch during the Olympic Games will be how much attention is devoted to the questions of how intersex athletes compete and the potential for unfair advantage. It is a question that speaks to the heart of what it means to define ourselves by gender and the fact that the Olympics still operates in a dual gender world and uses humiliating tests while we now have a far more nuanced way of addressing this once simple question (Facebook, for example, has a drop down menu with more than 50 gender options). These Olympics will take this issue and cast it into the spotlight unlike ever before.
How Are These Stories Chosen?
Every week I review more than a hundred data sources to curate the best and most under appreciated marketing stories of the week. The aim of this email is to spotlight these “non-obvious” stories, along with a quick take on why they matter for you. I hope you find this email interesting and useful … and am always open to your suggestions on how I might make it better!