Feb 14 '18

Olympic Ads: Putting “Brand” back on the podium

While the Super Bowl spots from a few weeks ago seem to be more about the relatively short-term success of social buzz and finishing at the top of the Ad Meter, it looks as if Olympics advertisers are taking more of a long-view:  aligning their Brand Truths with those of the Games’ athletes — hard work, perseverance and achievement.

Samsung: “Do What You Can’t”

This campaign has been around for a few years, but the Olympics are the perfect venue to project this Brand Truth.  No Olympians are featured, but the association is clear.


VISA: “Finding New Finish Lines”

With a fun turn on well-known lyric (“Anything I can do, I can do better”) VISA tells an entertaining story of determination.  Same story as Samsung, told in a different Brand Voice.

Toyota: “Start Your Impossible/Thin Ice”

Toyota signed up figure skater Ashley Wagner before the games, with the assumption she’d make the team.  When she didn’t, they created a spot that illustrates that despite all the hard work and dedication, things don’t always goes as planned.  Nice spot, but I’m sure Toyota would have preferred an Olympic participant as a spokesperson.

NBC: “Best of U.S.”

These spots actually ran during the Super Bowl, but I think are the best of the bunch.  Five Olympians with different stories (told with different – and perfect – pieces of music).  NBC gave up over $20 million of ad revenue to run these spots (instead of taking money from a Super Bowl advertiser) to build interest in the Games.  Ratings have been pretty good, so it seems to be money well spent.


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