Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 31, 2012 12:55 PM
Coca-Cola ♥ the Olympic Games. After all, the soda maker has been lapping up the Olympics for every bit of marketing goodwill it can get for more than 80 years.
Now this year’s Olympics are in full swing and Coca-Cola can see the light at the end of the tunnel of its Move to the Beat campaign with singer Katy B and producer Mark Ronson that kicked off ahead of its sponsorship of the 8,000-mile Olympic torch relay. It's been a busy year with a variety of London 2012 marketing tie-ins.
And now Coca-Cola is extending its musical chops in a just-announced partnership with will.i.am to launch a sustainability-collaboration platform for brands dubbed EKOCYCLE, which is partnering to produce greener Beats by Dr Dre headphones — a brand that isn't music to the London Olympics organizers' ears.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 25, 2012 07:14 PM
God help the poor Pepsi-loving soul who wanders through London over the next few weeks. The dreaded brand police are swarming the country in search of any signs of anyone mentioning or attempting to showcase any corporate entity that is a competitor to the official Olympics sponsors, and anyone who even so much as thinks of sponsor Coke’s biggest competitor should fear the consequences. But that's nothing compared to what Nike is staging: the brashest act of ambush marketing in the history of the Olympics Games. And we'll bet they get away with it because, well, it's Nike.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 23, 2012 07:32 PM
Always a bonanza for marketers (as the New York Times' Stuart Elliott notes), campaigns pegged to the Olympics are often overly serious and attempt to be tearjerkers, as P&G knows all too well. Still, its Old Spice brand is retickling its Old Spice Guy funny bone by partnering again with W+K on an Olympics commercial. "I Will Live Forever," above, stars a skinny hero who listens to a self-help tape and somehow manages to win a slew of medals and a ton of hearts while smelling good all along the way.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 20, 2012 07:02 PM
As the Olympic torch arrives in London today, a little confusion and more clarity also arrives around the issue of whether visitors to the London 2012 Summer Games will be turned back at the entrance if wearing non-sponsors' logos. In a word, no — despite some confusion from Lord Coe.
That would be Sebastian Coe, the Olympic gold medalist and chairman of the London Olympics Organizing Committee, raised a few eyebrows beyond his advice to competitors to curb tweeting. The 2012 Summer Olympics chairman's interview with the BBC's Radio 4 sent his LOCOG colleagues "scrambling" Friday after he stated that Pepsi t-shirts on attendees wouldn't be welcome in deference to sponsor Coca-Cola, while Nike sneakers would be acceptable even though Adidas is the official shoe sponsor.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 18, 2012 06:32 PM
This will be the most broadcasted, most publicized, most branded, and most ballyhooed Olympics ever. Just when you don’t think stakes can go higher, they somehow suddenly do.
Athletes Must Now Stop Promoting Themselves
Wednesday marks the day when all self-promotion by Olympic athletes has been ordered to stop. No more gear sold with their names on it. No more ads featuring their faces to run — unless of course it is for a brand that has paid out the big bucks to officially align itself with the Games. The moratorium will last till Aug. 15, three days after the end of the Games. As NPR points out, "To understand what this means, consider Michael Phelps: Subway has long sponsored the Olympic swimmer, but it's not an Olympic sponsor. That means no Subway ads featuring Phelps can air between July 18 and Aug. 15. But this Head & Shoulders commercial of Phelps washing his hair is fine — Head & Shoulders is owned by Procter & Gamble, which is an Olympic sponsor." Blame the IOC and London 2012 organizing committee's drive to protect official sponsors from non-sponsors piggybacking on their efforts. “Ambush marketing seems to be an issue that continues to rear its head in every Games,” said Lisa Baird, the USOC’s chief marketing officer, according to the Washington Post. “There are ambush marketers out there that want to imply an association with the Olympics. They’ll take terminology; imagery, and they will get very close or crossing the line to really imply that they are a sponsor. That hurts us.” That hurts all of us, Lisa.Continue reading...
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...
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 Mark J. Miller on June 5, 2012 11:02 AM
British businesses are no doubt excited that the Olympics are coming to their fair land. Even if they're not official sponsors of the London 2012 Summer Games, it's reasonable to exect that the influx of tourists would boost the local economy, not only frequenting businesses but wanting to take home a few pieces of England to share with those who weren’t lucky enough to join them in viewing the world’s premier athletes in competition.
But some of that glee has turned to heartache in the days leading up to the Games. The International Olympic Committee and the London Organizing Committee (LOCOG) have been coming down hard on any business that comes anywhere close to aligning themselves with the Games if they haven’t shelled out the mega-millions it takes to be an official partner of the event. You may recall the story of the "Lympic" cafe, so-renamed after being asked by officials to drop its O. Now comes the case of the tissue-paper Olympic rings.
“A florist has been ordered to take down a tissue paper Olympic rings display from her shop window because it breaches trademark rules,” according to The Daily Mail. The small flower shop in question, La Rose Florists in Stoke-on-Trent, were apparently told they may be sued by such megacorporations as Coca-Cola for their creativity.Continue reading...