Competing for Marketing Gold in Sochi


Posted by Brenda Timm, VP of Strategic Communication & Online Services

With all the Super Bowl hoopla behind us, the next big opportunity for marketers to score some major exposure is at the 2014 Winter Olympics kicking off later this week.

What do the big brands have in store?

No stranger to Olympic advertising, Kellogg’s has rolled out a feel-good campaign that spotlights U.S. Olympic and Paralympic competitors and features “From Great Starts Come Great Things” spots. The overall effort combines a little bit of everything – from web, mobile and social media to TV, print and in-store promotions.

Proctor & Gamble Co. (P&G) introduced a new Olympic-themed ad in its “Thank You, Mom” campaign last month. The commercial shows flashbacks of infant snowboarders and skaters getting some motherly assistance as they first learned to walk. P&G is anticipating over $150 million in sales from its advertising efforts in Sochi.

But what about the companies that don’t have these giant, Olympic-sized budgets to work with? How will they get involved?

We’re expecting to see social media play an integral role in Sochi. Sure, Facebook, Twitter and many of the other channels were around for all the Vancouver action back in 2010, but they weren’t nearly as popular or as versatile as they are today.

Consider this: An article on Yahoo! News estimates that there were 400 million monthly Facebook users in February 2010. Not too shabby, huh? Fast-forward to 2014, and this number has shot to over 1.2 billion. As for Twitter, eMarketer reports consistent growth for the site since 2010, with a yearly average increase of 21 percent.

With such a large, tuned-in audience, think of how easy it will be for companies to join in on the social chatter with a post, link, photo, video or even a simple comment that somehow ties to their brand.

And on a similar note, there’s always the opportunity for those clever product placements. An Olympian caught munching on her favorite post-race snack with the pic popping up on Instagram? Now this would be gold-worthy!

It will be exciting to see what marketers have in store for us at Sochi. We’ll be watching from the sidelines to see who winds up on the marketing medal podium.

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