Today's Brandlympics round-up is brought to you by table tennis, the London 2012 Olympics sport celebrated in today's Google homepage logo:
Romneys in Two Horse Races
Most folks around the U.S. didn’t know a smidge about dressage before this year, but now that the wife of an American presidential candidate’s horse is in the event at the Olympics, there are suddenly more than a few people who know a bit about the sport that features horses making different predetermined movements as if they are dancing ballet. And even those who don’t know a thing about it have made it a political symbol, trying to show that the Romneys cannot possibly understand everyday Americans when they are involved in such an upper-crust sport. Satirists such as Stephen Colbert have gone to town with it and it is certainly likely to continue no matter if the horse in question, Rafalca, brings home a medal or not. It is unfortunate timing for Romney, who has stuck his foot in his mouth more than a few times in the past week while trying to establish his street cred as an international statesman. And Romney’s announcement of a vice-presidential candidate could get slightly delayed if his wife’s horse gets into the Olympic dressage final. Then again, if Rafalca wins gold, he may have found his running mate after all.
Team USA Uses Ali as Inspiration
Back in his prime, Muhammad Ali was one of the most inspirational speakers America could offer up. The guy dripped inspirational quotes. He danced like a butterfly. He stung like a bee. And you couldn’t not listen to him. He charged you up till you felt like you could go out right then and there and sting like a bee. The U.S. Olympic team used Ali’s greatness to their own advantage the night before the Olympic Games got underway. A video tribute to the 1960 gold medalist was shown the night before the Games got underway at a benefit gala for the U.S. team. Now U.S. Olympians are discovering whether they’ve got what it takes or not. As Ali once said, “Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision.” Louis Vuitton also pays tribute to Ali in its new branded entertainment campaign.
Lawmakers Looking to Help Medal Winners
American athletes are constantly told to go for the gold, but they’ve got to look in the fine print to find out that if they get one, it’ll cost them on tax day. The Washington Post reports that gold-medal winners are given $25,000 honorariums while silver earns you $15,000 and bronze brings in $10,000. That income, of course, all gets taxed. However, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who clearly has a case of Olympic fever, is attempting to eliminate such taxes with a bill he announced Wednesday called Tax Exemptions for American Medalists Act. Get it? TEAM Act? Everybody loves an acronym.
China Wants to Hear Some Apologizing
Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen is 16 years old and the owner of two Olympic gold medals after powering through the women’s 200-meter Individual medley and 400-metter individual medley and setting two new Olympic records and one new world record. The kid went so fast, she swam her breast stroke lap faster than Michael Phelps had that same day and her freestyle lap faster than Ryan Lochte. Not too shabby. A performance like this, of course, led to folks questioning whether she had helped things along with the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Folks in China are denying such a charge and now people are starting to ask for apologies from those who doubt her. According to the Wall Street Journal, an unofficial poll in the Chinese version of the paper had 92% of 6,653 voters saying she deserves an apology. One of those people, Lee Kaifu, the former president of Google China, actually had to apologize himself after he posted the home address of a U.S. coach, John Leonard, who had been shocked by the young swimmer’s success. The post on Weibo was later deleted, but you can bet more than a few of his 15 million followers have the info handy and will use it. After all, as CNN notes, in China this isn't the Twitter Olympics — it's the Weibolympics.
Gillette Makes a Splash in London Boston
On the night of the Opening Ceremonies on July 27th, P&G's Gillette brand put on a show of its own: a spectacle of light and technology in Boston Harbor, featuring larger than life versions superstars Ryan Lochte and Tyson Gay. Gillette's hometown created a massive hologram lightshow of Lochte and Gay as part of the brand's global ‘Get Started’ campaign. A series of mini-projections gave glimpses of Lochte and Gay, building buzz in Beantown for the Friday night reveal. “P&G and its brand Gillette are not just partners of the Olympic Games, we’re dedicated fans at heart, and we wanted to convey our passion and excitement for the start of the Olympic Games with a truly remarkable and unforgettable program that not only wished our Gillette ambassadors a great start in London, but more importantly showed our support for all of Team USA,” said Sonia Fife, General Manager, Gillette North America. “We were able to share our pride with Bostonians and the nation as we celebrated the beginning of the Olympic Games with a splash.”
Something Corny About Usain Bolt
When Usain Bolt defends his title as World’s Fastest Man on Sunday in London, he could be part of history. The Jamaican team he is part of has a chance of sweeping the medals in the event, which would be a first. His countrywomen pulled off the feat four years ago in Beijing. Whether he wins or not, though, Bolt is beloved across the globe. A farmer in England proved this fact when he completely changed up his fields so that he could create a Usain Bolt Maize Maze. Nice job, Farmer Robinson. Maybe next time you do it, you can get a non-Olympics sponsor to pay you to put their logo on Bolt’s shirt.
Brands Planning for 2016 Games in Brazil
Sure, these Games are fun and all, but in a week and a half, they’ll be over. And then what? Brazil in four years! Start prepping now, baby! That’s exactly what some brands are already doing. After all, you always want to top the last Games. “The Brazil Tourist Board has already launched a campaign to promote the nation during the London Games and Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff has already said that she thinks Rio 2016 will be ‘better than London,’” according to Marketing Week. Those are fighting words, Dilma! As for brand activity, some of the members of McDonald’s teams in Russia (where the next Winter Games will be) and Brazil are hanging out in London during these Olympics to see how it’s being handled and figure out what can be done better. Above, Nissan profiles renowned Brazilian chef Roberta Sudbrack, "who might also be tapped for the Rio Olympic Games 2016," and who's feeding Team Brazil at London's Crystal Palace high-performance sports center in London.
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