Creating interesting, relevant and audience-specific content is now fundamental to a successful marketing campaign. Gone are the days when the world’s biggest brands could simply trumpet their sponsorship through standard ads or strategically placed logos. Now, brands are expected to participate in a social conversation and really interact with their customers and stakeholders. As the Olympic Games approaches, it’s intriguing to watch the ‘battle of Olympic content’ play out, as sponsors fight to claim their share of Olympic glory.
“By making clever use of content, brands succeed in raising awareness, deepening customer engagement and increasing brand loyalty,” comments Christine Joyce, Managing Director, CJAM. “This year’s Olympic sponsors have created a dazzling array of content that’s designed to intrigue and captivate core audiences.”
As part of its London 2012 sponsorship activity, Coca-Cola is creating more than 120 pieces of content. This compares with just three TV ads and six posters created by the company for Beijing 2008. It also forged a partnership with music star Mark Ronson to create the ‘Move to the beat of the London 2012 Olympic Games’ campaign, whereby the sounds of Olympic sports were recorded and transformed into Coke’s official ‘soundtrack’ for the games.
BMW has opted to use Olympic athletes as a metaphor for its superior product, as the firm explores what it takes to produce ‘The Ultimate Performance’. The German superbrand created four short documentary films, and released one a week to retain consumers’ attention. One of the most compelling is directed by Asif Kapadia, the BAFTA winning director of ‘Senna’, and draws vivid comparisons between the golden ages of athletics and cars.
A series of 10 short films aired on Channel 4 and channel4.com has been designed to help Sainsbury’s amplify its sponsorship of the Paralympic Games and share its commitment to promoting healthier, more active lifestyles. Paralympic athletes share their stories of dedication to their sport and the sacrifices they’re making en route to the Games, which makes for engaging viewing, although the overt merging of the supermarket’s logo with the 2012 Olympics logo could be considered by some as a step too far.
British Airways has created an ambitious and poignant work, a silent film entitled ‘Boy’. This moving ten-minute story was written by the winner of BA’s ‘Great Britons’ programme, Prasanna Puwanarajah, and features Timothy Spall, while scenes shot in the Olympic Park’s Velodrome to ensure its relevance. It will be seen by up to six million BA passengers this summer.
The colourful parade of Olympic content sets an interesting milestone as to the kinds of activities brands are now undertaking in support of major events. It will certainly be interesting to see how audiences respond to the many visual and musical creations on display. Let’s hope that they enhance rather than overshadow the true spirit of the Games!