Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 16, 2012 05:19 PM
You can’t stop it now. That Olympics train is running down the track and won’t be stopping till the final Royal Scone is eaten and the last big-hatted Guard struts by and the final Beatles song is sung during the Closing Ceremonies on Aug. 12. Don’t even think about getting out of the way, and that goes to marketers, too. We're watching how marketers of all sizes, official sponsors and non-sponsors, grapple with the hurdles of the London 2012 organizers' tough rules protecting sponsorships — starting with our lead story today:
Watch Out! The Brand Police Are Watching You
While there is some question on just how secure these Olympics will be, there is no doubt that this will be the most vigilant Olympics ever when it comes to fighting off any brands that are planning to use the Games as any kind of way of presenting their message if they haven’t shelled out the big bucks to allow them the right to do so.
The Independent reports that almost 300 “Olympics officers” hit the streets of the UK ("with a vengeance") on Monday, “enforcing sponsors' multimillion-pound marketing deals” and keeping a steely eye for ambush marketing. Such words as “gold,” “silver,” and, of course, “bronze” have been outlawed from any advertising. The newspaper comments, "Publicans have been advised that blackboards advertising live TV coverage must not refer to beer brands or brewers without an Olympics deal, while caterers and restaurateurs have been told not to advertise dishes that could be construed as having an association with the event."
Interbrand London's Lorna Fray, in her dispatch from London today, notes at least one non-sponsor whose signage around London might lead the casual observer to think it's an Olympics campaign: MasterCard, whose "Priceless London" outdoor marketing push "references heroes, unique experiences and London without mentioning sport or 2012" — much to the annoyance, no doubt, of official London 2012 credit card partner Visa.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 16, 2012 03:29 PM
The latest move in Greenpeace’s Save the Arctic campaign saw British eco-activists shutting down 74 of 119 Shell petrol stations in Edinburgh and London against the brand's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic, leading to the arrests of 24 campaigners on Monday, according to the Guardian.
The campaign is targeting Shell as prepares to begin drilling in the Arctic with Russian oil company Gazprom, a plan that U.S. activists rallied to sue and spoof campaigns to pop up. Protesters scaled the roofs of Shell stations and deployed emergency shut-off switches to stop petrol going to the pumps, removing a fuse that delays it being switched on again, while posting a message on Twitter that, "We're being careful not to destroy property. Even the carefully removed components will go back to Shell."
Greenpeace UK website elaborated, "It's part of the global week of action against Shell that kicked off with the occupation of the head office in the Hague – as well as our live TV channel, follow #tellshell on Twitter for all the latest from around the world."Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 16, 2012 10:18 AM
Since it was revealed the Ralph Lauren-designed opening ceremony uniforms for the US Olympic team were made in China, a member of Congress has openly suggested burning them, a move some outraged Americans immediately endorsed — it didn't take long for a "Burn the New USA Olympic Uniforms" Facebook page to pop up, naturally.
According to one estimate, USOC's outsourcing of Team USA's apparel manufacturing to China cost the U.S. about $1 billion. While others have come to the Team USA's defense of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and Team USA, the Christian Science Monitor argued against corporate panhandling altogether. "While China is harvesting farm girls from remote provinces to be canoeists, gymnasts, and weightlifters — training them in state-owned facilities and paying top dollar to lure top coaches — the USOC is panhandling on the doorstep of corporate America."
Ralph Lauren, which prides itself on being an All-American brand, is smarting from the outcry. Its namesake founder has vowed that the brand will produce the 2014 Winter Olympics Team USA apparel in the U.S., according to a statement released Friday that was backed up by USOC:Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 15, 2012 01:19 PM
With less than two weeks left before the XXX Olympics (hold your snickers) kick off on July 27th, brands that paid big bucks to be involved are getting their names out there in every way possible while those who didn’t unload their wallets are keeping busy figuring out how they can capitalize on all those eyeballs without getting themselves into any kind of trouble. But first, a word from an Olympics sponsor:
McDonald’s Succumbs to Chip Pressure
Britain, of course, is known for its fine fish and chips so it seemed like blasphemy, especially to the workers at this year’s Games, that the only fries that would be available in Olympic venues would be sold by American fast-food giant McDonald’s — which is, of course, an official IOC sponsor — at its temporary restaurants on the Olympics site. Following an outcry, the London 2012 Organizing Committee has agreed to allow other vendors of chips on the premises, which comes as good news to the 800 food vendors who can now sell their chips to Olympics visitors and personnel. It's not a huge chip off the shoulders of McDonald's UK, which projects that revenue from Olympics sales will represent less than 0.1% of its annual sales.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 12, 2012 06:47 PM
Gone are the glory days when the world's superpowers would boycott the Olympic games in their entirety to send a message to a rival. Today, friction between the world's most powerful nations is economic, not nuke-based, and the Olympics is getting an age-appropriate controversy between America and China.
“[T]hey should take all the outfits, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over.” From The Wall Street Journal, that was US Senate Majority Leader and Democrat Harry Reid's response when he learned that Team USA's Ralph Lauren-designed opening ceremony uniforms were "Made in China." Nike, Team China's uniformer, better hope the nation doesn't retaliate with some kind of good old Cold War mutually assured destruction theory.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 12, 2012 10:01 AM
For marketers these days, it's all about digital and taking advantage of all it has to offer. Adidas, though, is pulling its wares off two of the web's major e-commerce hubs — Amazon and eBay — because it's convinced such sites are cheapening its image and damaging its brand value. According to the UK's Marketing Week, the ban goes into effect in January and will extend to its Reebok brand.
Adidas, on a high coming out of Euro 2012 and heading into the Olympics, isn't the only major brand that's pulling back on e-commerce sites — Nike and Asics are also restricting Internet sales, a move that has drawn the attention of German competition authorities. "Adidas isn't the first, and they're definitely not going to be the last to do what they did," said Wes Sheperd, CEO of Channel IQ, an online services provider catering to manufacturers, distributors and retailers, according to AuctionBytes.com. "There's a storm brewing here."Continue reading...
brand vs. brand
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 11, 2012 04:56 PM
It's a battle of Philistine proportions.
SodaStream, purveyor of DIY soft-drink machines that turn water into soda with carbonation and flavoring, has found itself in fisticuffs with Coca-Cola. In a classic David and Goliath confrontation, the world’s largest beverage maker — reigning Best Global Brand, market value about $170 billion, 228 times larger than SodaStream — is threatening to sue to shut down the smaller brand's sustainability campaign — one that is based on attacking at Coca-Cola.
"Every day, approximately 1 billion bottles and cans are added to our parks, rivers, oceans and landfills worldwide — almost 400 million in America alone. We must not allow Coke, or anyone, to silence this unfortunate truth,” said SodaStream CEO, Daniel Birnbaum, in a press release about the brand's launch of a Facebook Cage Challenge after the beverage giant tried to shut down its anti-Coca-Cola environmental cage exhibits.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 9, 2012 12:01 PM
While many global marketers are aiming Olympics-related campaigns at young consumers, the real core of TV watchers of London's Summer Olympics are expected to be older Gen X-ers and boomers. Those generations also struggle more than younger ones with obesity and other health issues.
All of that may be why Coca-Cola is using its Olympics sponsorship to do more than promote its new global "Move to the Beat" campaign, which is aimed at teens. Another new initiative by Coke is highlighting active lifestyles by centering on an "eight-pack" of athletes even though the first one revealed — Shawn Johnson — won't be competing in London following her recent surprise retirement from the sport.
In a challenging time in America for soft drink brands, led by New York City's proposed ban on large soft drinks, Coke is hoisting a healthy living banner into the London 2012 Olympics with a campaign which claims that — despite being dismissed as overcaloric sugar water by many health critics — the brand actually has an association with healthy lifestyles.Continue reading...