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.
Coca-Cola Beatbox unveiled on Olympic Park
Visitors to London for the Olympics may have to deal with high prices, massive crowds, and the constant threat of one British group of workers or another walking off their jobs, but they will get the chance to go home with some memories of cool things. Coca-Cola is hoping one of those memories is of the massive Beatbox pavilion the brand has installed on-site, inviting visitors to remix a tune depending on which of the 200 cushions they touch as they climb on it. Integrated into the Beatbox are “audio, lighting and responsive sensor technology,” which will help consumers create new tunes as they climb and, of course, remember Coke’s name in the process. It's all part of the brand's Move to the Beat London 2012 campaign.
Stella McCartney has High Street Hopes for Team GB
British fashion designer Stella McCartney is proud to have designed the London 2012 kit for Team GB in partnership with Adidas. Just don't confuse her designs with the team's outfits that will be worn at the opening and closing ceremonies — they're being designed by British high street retailer Next. "I'm terrified people will think it's me," the designer reportedly told the FT. So there's no confusion, that's McCartney's kit above.
Bend It Like the Beckhams
While the missus has agreed to one last Spice Girls reunion for the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Games, David Beckham gets back to what he does best — posing for brands — with his latest spot (above) for Samsung and its briskly-selling Galaxy S III phone.
Inflatable Hoop Dreams
This Olympics will see the debut of a recyclable basketball stadium — the first of its kind, and an inspiration that Dennis Hone, Chief Executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), said that he hopes this new model will enable more countries to benefit from the economic stimulus typically associated with large sporting events such as the Olympic Games.
Duck! NBC Olympics Will Be Coming at Ya, USA
Are you ready for Hope Solo to kick a soccer ball into your living room? Or Michael Phelps to swing a medal into your face? Or Paul McCartney to be sitting in your living room? The word from CNET is that NBC and Panasonic have teamed up to offer consumers in need of more depth in their lives 242 hours of Olympics coverage in three – count ‘em, three – beautiful dimensions. NBC's 3D Olympics channel will be available to more than 80 percent of U.S. households. Don’t get too excited, though. First you’ll need a 3D-compatible TV and enough glasses for anyone who wants to see a discus whipping off the screen and over your head.
Twitter Giving Itself an Olympics Boost
Twitter would like to show the world that it’s a viable business. With all those people using it, you’d think they’d find a way to monetize. To help showcase itself, the social-media behemoth is partnering with NBC for the Olympics, according to Marketwatch. The plan is to “corral millions of Twitter messages from Olympic athletes, their families, fans and NBC television personalities into a single page on Twitter.com,” the site reports. Meanwhile, NBC will be sure to mention Twitter early and often on the air and send viewers there to get more info in 140-character chunks. “This is a way for new users to sample Twitter,” said Chloe Sladden, Twitter’s VP of media, to Marketwatch. Follow @TwitterSports for more.
Aramark Feeds the Village
After all the preparations against ambush marketing and protections put into place against brands stealthily attaching themselves somehow with the Olympic Games, there is one major brand that will be heavily involved in the Olympic Village without shelling out massive bucks to be involved. In fact, this brand will get paid to be involved. Aramark Catering, which boasts a sports and entertainment arm, will keep its name low profile even while serving 70,000 meals daily in the Olympic Village, Philly.com reports. This may be Aramark’s 16th Olympics, but it isn’t clear if the company will be back since sponsorship deals are becoming more and more precious. The Olympic Committee is allowing Aramark to retweet comments about the food from the Village, but not to showcase itself in any other way.
Olympian BMW Brand Looks Ahead to Team China
Olympics sponsor BMW is everywhere at London 2012, constructing a BMW Pavilion, sponsoring athletes including Team USA, giving away London 2012 tickets from a golden convoy, keeping the Olympic torch alight (above) and ferrying athletes and VIPs around in a sustainable fleet. It's also looking ahead by going hard after Chinese consumers. The car company signed a six-year agreement with the Chinese Olympic Committee last year and it is planning to use the Summer Games in London as a major jumping-off point for advertising and events in the country, according to ChinaDaily.com. "The cooperation between BMW and the Olympics is deep and sustainable," said Ivan Koh, president of BMW China Automotive Trading Co, according to the site. Koh notes that more than one third of the Chinese Olympians who medaled when the Games were in Beijing four years ago selected BMW for their cars. "The active and upward attitude toward life, as well as the courageous spirit expressed by our brand, can also be found in Olympic champions," Koh stated. Chinese of all stripes will see lots more of that courageous spirit — and, of course, models such as the new BMW 7 Series.
McDonald's Delivers Chinese Workers to Olympics
McD's is building the world's biggest (temporary) restaurant on the London Games site, and it's going to need a lot of trained workers to serve Happy Meals and the like. That's why the company has been searching for its best and brightest — including bringing 10 employees from China, where the company recently opened its first Hamburger University in Shanghai. Meet three of the winners who will be flipping burgers at London 2012 on ChinaStories.com.
Artists Risking Visit From Brand Police
The brand police have gotten a lot of press at the London Games so pretty much everybody knows that to sully an Olympics symbol or any sponsor is basically a crime against humanity. However, there are some who appear not to care and are having a good time anyway, whether it means using one of the rings as a basketball hoop or an image of a dog being amorous with one of the Olympic mascots. So far, such brandalism of billboards (let alone conceptual art such as the double decker above) has gotten away with not being policed, but one wonders when the knock will come at the door. “It’s just a cheeky little thing,” said artist Terry Baden. “It’s a quite British thing to kind of take the mick a bit. It’s not malicious.” And never mind street art — what will the purple-clad brand bobbies say about such subversiveness as the misspelled, re-logoed window display spotted by Yahoo Sports, below?
• Click here for more of our London 2012 Olympics coverage