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Being reactive in the Olympics

Brands and being reactive in the Olympics

With Rio on the other side of the world, the Olympics this year will naturally see a smaller British audience than back in 2012. In fact we learnt from Marketing Week that 53% of British consumers are less likely to watch the Rio Olympics than London 2012, because the party isn’t here this time.

Because the audience in the UK will be smaller, brands will have to be more reactive and relevant in their approach to marketing surrounding the games. Brands can gain a valuable audience from joining a social conversation surrounding events such as the Olympics.

Reactive advertising is a great display of advertising craft as it can show the wonderfully dynamic partnership between a creative agency and their client. Along with its usually witty nature, it sometimes has the tendency to go viral and can be more talked about than entire campaigns. It is finding a great home during Rio.

Of course the approach is totally up to the brand in question, but making the Olympics relevant to the product is a common route, and works as long as it is not too contrived.

Though many brands may be put off by the strict rules that the International Olympic Committee have imposed on brands on social media, save for the official sponsors such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, this has not stopped the likes of Innocent Smoothies. They have taken it upon themselves to put their own spin on the Olympics, in typical Innocent fashion.

Official sponsor Coca-Cola has used it as an opportunity to promote Coke, and congratulate medal wins; and McDonald’s has promoted its new chicken nuggets as well as posting their support for their child ambassadors at the opening ceremony. Because there is not intrinsic link between the consumption of Coke, or McDonald’s with sports their approach to social content is limited, but could be so much more.

Nando’s, now so often preceded by the word cheeky, lives up to the name on social with its posts. Coining #NandosSports to generate interest in the posts throughout the Olympics.

Aldi however, as the official sponsor of Team GB, has gone down the more educational route in attempting to teach us Brits how to speak Portuguese via social media, as well as promoting the healthy meal options of team GB athletes.

Durex have taken one of the most talked about issues of Rio 2016, the Zika virus, and used it as an opportunity to spread awareness online with the hash tag #DontShareZika. Piggy-backing the Olympics social chatter with a socially beneficial message.

We would like to see more brands taking advantage of the Olympic spirit on social media, official or otherwise. With less above the line Olympics advertising in the UK than 2012, the conversation will be online, and it will be reactive.

Bring on the rest of Rio, and lets see what the games bring us. Some more gold medals coming top of the list.