Brace yourself. You will hear ad nauseam over the next three weeks about how these are the social Olympics. There will be hashtags galore, Twitter handles all around and lots of desperate pleas to “like us on Facebook.” Brands are elbowing into the act with their own initiatives that they hope will cause people to share them with their friends. We examined five Olympic sponsors’ digital marketing efforts to see how shareable they are. While some of the ideas behind the efforts are interesting spins on Olympic buzz, unfortunately not much was particularly innovative or entertaining. Weigh in and share any shareable Olympic marketing efforts you’ve seen in the comments.
Coca-Cola, “Move to the Beat of London 2012”
Coke teamed up with cool-guy-DJ Mark Ronson for this Olympic marketing effort. Ronson traveled the world to visit five Olympic hopefuls and used sounds of them training to create a special song “Anywhere in the World” for the campaign (the song is available for download on iTunes). On the campaign site and through a Facebook app, users can customize their own beat and video by choosing a sport and a music genre. Users can choose to add their “beat” to the “Global Beat” of everyone’s customized beats from around the world.
Shareability factor: It’s a cool idea to make music out of non-musical sounds. Did I customize my own beat? Yes. Did I want to share it on my Facebook wall? No.
Holiday Inn, Augmented Reality Hotel
Holiday Inn has created the world’s first augmented reality hotel experience in honor of the Olympics. Guests at the Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum can use their smartphones and tablets to see athletes like BMX World Champion Shanaze Reade and UK long-jump record holder Chris Tomlinson in virtual action in certain designated areas in the hotel. Kind of random but pretty neat.
Shareability factor: This application of augmented reality is kind of weird — maybe because I’m not a sports fan and it doesn’t excite me to see random athletes jumping on a bed or walking down a hallway — but it does stand out from other Olympic marketing efforts. It’s definitely interesting on a technological level that augmented reality is even a thing. Maybe this is something you would share with your technerd friends?
Adidas, “Take the Stage” with David Beckham
The “Take the Stage” campaign includes things like a chance to win tickets to the Olympics, athlete interviews and other special articles and features on the Adidas UK site. Adidas also got soccer star/male model/Mr. Posh Spice David Beckham, who was left off his national soccer team, to have a little fun with fans. Beckham surprised people at an Adidas photobooth in the Westfield Stratford City shopping center, near the Olympic Park. Adidas caught these shocked fans’ reactions to Beckham’s presence on video. Lots of tears, screams and smiles.
Shareability factor: Well, I’m sure lots of ladies will want to share anything with Beckham in it. I mean, his Super Bowl H&M underwear ad was insanely popular.
Visa, “Go World”
As part of Visa’s Go World campaign, the credit card brand has created an app that helps connect sports fans all over the world. The Visa Cheer Facebook app allows users to choose athletes to cheer for and lets users create and share their own cheering videos.
Shareability factor: There are some pretty funny and cute fan-made cheering videos on there, but I’m not really going to sit there and sort through it all, and again, as a non-sports fan, I’m not going to make my own video. But maybe patriotic sports fans will want to show their support and post their cheers.
P&G, “Thank You, Mom”
You’ve all seen the tearjerker of a commercial from P&G, “Best Job,” which showcases the loving moms behind the athletes, but P&G also made a series of athlete videos and athlete mom videos, along with an app that lets users create and share their own “Thank you, Mom” messages.
Shareability factor: It’s got the schmaltz factor working in its favor with the mom demo. Not exactly something for me, but I can see the Farmville set actually digging this kind of thing.
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