Olympics is the biggest sporting spectacle on the planet. Every four years around 3.6 billion (London 2012 figures) people tune into watching the event. For advertisers who chose to be associated with the event via sponsorship put in their best creative minds to ensure that money generates the returns that they desire. India had over 90 million watching London Olympics in 2012 which is not much if you compare it with IPL which has over 1.2 billion viewers but again Rio Olympics is truly global event compared to cricket.

Rio Olympics & Advertising Industry

If one has to truly understand the impact that the event has on advertising industry we need to understand what the event does for media buying agencies as well as advertisers (including the creative agencies).

Olympics – Media Buyers Golden Ticket

As per estimates from Zenith Optimedia Olympics will add around 2 billion dollars to the net advertising spends globally for 2016. In India Star Sports which owns the rights to the screen, Olympics is charging close to 1.75 lakhs per 10-second ad spot and created around 3,600 programming content for the event. HotStar which owns the live streaming rights for the event is charging close to 2 crores for sponsorship. Rio Olympics has 11 sponsors this year each reportedly paying 100 million each. For others who don’t opt for sponsorship only way to be associated with the game is to partner with television & online-streaming partner which again comes at a price. To put in right perspective if a media buyer has a client who is willing to spend on the games consider it as golden ticket being offered by Willy Wonka.

Creative – Keeping conversations going!

Olympics is spread over 19 days so the difficult part is not just creating content but keep conversations going without losing engagement. Very few brands really know how to do the second part really well. Coca-Cola has been doing it for the 20 time as a sponsor of the game and Google with its strategic advantage keeps the conversation going as it becomes the defacto place to check for game stats.

Brands that kept the conversations going

Coca-Cola – #ThatsGold

#ThatsGold campaign from Ogilvy & Mather, Brazil builds on brands “Taste the feeling” campaign. TV & Print ads featured over 79 athletics from 23 countries. A montage of athletes’ gold medal moments is interspersed with footage of people experiencing everyday moments of excitement.

“There are so many gold moments that happen off the podium. It’s about day-to-day, simple pleasures that are all about joy and uplift, whatever is a special moment that you’ll share with friends and family, and celebrating our relationships with the Olympians, too. We’re trying to position Coca-Cola as a simple pleasure that makes moments more special,” said Rodolfo Echeverria, global vp, creative and connections at Coca-Cola.

Samsung – #DoWhatYouCant

#DoWhatYouCant campaign from Samsung starts of with an anthem which the brand believes strives to break down barriers of geographic borders and to unite the world by combining segments of national anthems from several countries to form one anthem brought to life by athletes and fans across the globe. The campaign features 6 different global athletics.

The Anthem’ is a reflection of the Samsung brand and our continuous pursuit to break down geographic barriers and unite the world through technology and borderless communication. By singing one anthem, fans and athletes across the globe can feel a shared sense of pride and unity and together celebrate collective progress, which is integral to the spirit of the Olympic Games said Younghee Lee, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics.

Procter & Gamble – #ThankYouMom

Procter & Gamble launched the campaign in Winter Olympics 2010 and after the positive response launched the worldwide campaign in London Olympics 2012. With the new commercial P&G is trying to build on its successful campaign.

It also cleverly draws on emotion – especially in the shots of proud parents watching on from the sidelines. A mother’s support and adoration of her child competing in sport is something many people can identify with said Andrew Blakeley, strategist and head of social, The Corner

Nike – #UnlimitedYou

With over 275 million digital views around the world for all the films put together the brand is making sure that it doesn’t leave any stone unturned.  #UnlimitedYou campaign is connected to brands retail destinations throughout the world, and they are doing multiple event activations in Rio, Shanghai, London and New York as a way to personally connect with consumers.

One of the insights that we drilled into is that there are a lot of perceived limits for athletes, and so we wanted to get to this place where athletes achieved an ‘unlimited’ mindset. What that means is that rather than focusing on all the limits you do have, you get to that place where you realize there are no limits. The very best athletes that you see, certainly the ones you see competing at the Olympics games today, really represent that said Nike’s chief marketing officer, Greg Hoffman

JSW – #RuknaNahiHai

#RuknaNahiHai has to be the best Olympic campaigns that India has seen. As part of JSW Sports Excellence Program (SEP), the flagship endeavour of JSW Sports, it supports 40 of India’s elite athletes. This time, 12 of their athletes have represented India at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics. The 2 minute long films is a tribute to athletics from India who will be representing the country at the games.

Tata Salt – #NamakKeWaastey

#NamakKeWaastey campaign from Tata Salt again cheers athletics from Indian continent. Instead of taking about the sport the brand focuses on individual journeys of less known athletics. The series films crafted also reveal personal struggles of athletics which will definitely connect with the target audience at an emotional level.

With all the facts and creatives in place, the question that lingers in one’s mind is ‘Whether brands have done enough to be noticed and have a meaningful conversation with the consumer?’ Let viewers be the judge of that while marketers learn from each other on building brands.

We have managed to collate all the data points from Rio Olympics in the below infographic. For social media related data, we recommend your visit Mention’s microsite which we found very valuable.

Brands-Rio-Olympics