ads of olympic aspiration

Tonight marks the beginning of the Olympics but we’ve been seeing Olympic-related advertising for several weeks now (some examples: adidas ad ; McDonald’s ad)

What results can marketers expect from the collective $1BB in media spend they dished out on Olympic ads? As with all high profile media (e.g., Superbowl ads, billboards in Times Square), advertising during the Olympics…

Is effective at:

– generating brand awareness – increasing the number of people who have heard of the brand

– making the brand salient – making the brand stand out in people’s minds

– producing good will – generating positive feelings toward the company

Is less effective at:

differentiating the brand – making the brand stand for something distinct

– communicating specific messaging – making a specific point about a product/service

– triggering a purchase – getting people to buy

Therefore for advertisers with Olympic aspirations, I recommend they use spots that skew toward the “entertain” end of the “entertain-inform” continuum of advertising – likeability should be a key criteria for the creative. And it should be only one element of the marketing communications mix, with other media in the mix serving to drive people through the purchase funnel.

I’m curious — which Olympic ads do you think are effective? do they seem to follow these rule of thumbs?

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