Throughout the last month, the world has keenly followed all the action taking place at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Media outlets and journalists from all across the globe have flocked to the tournament, broadcasting around the clock coverage of all the biggest highs and lows. So too have many of the world’s biggest brands, turning the biggest talking points into social media spectacles, building buzz on the ice and keeping at the fore of the moment’s most compelling conversations.
We’ve rounded up our four favourite instances of brands mixing content with skis and showcasing digital talent on the slopes!
Red Stripe’s new sled for the Jamaican bobsleigh team is on the house
Ever since its debut at the 1988 Games, the Jamaican bobsleigh team has been an iconic fan favourite.
The men’s team failed to qualify for this year’s tournament, but all wasn’t lost for Jamaica, as the female bobsleigh team qualified instead, marking their competitive debut on the international stage.
However, the bobsledders’ time in PyeongChang has been all but plain sleighing. The campaign was beset by off-the-slope disunity and a frosty team spirit, which resulted in the mid-tournament resignation of coach Sanda Kiriasis. To make matters even worse, Kiriasis owned the team’s only sled; her departure made their future prospects look incredibly slim.
When it all seemed to be going downhill at near-terminal velocity, Jamaican beer brand Red Stripe stepped in to save the day. The brand reached out to the team via a Twitter @ mention with the generous proposal of gifting them a brand new sled of their own with no strings attached, which was a sizable financial commitment at around £40,000. An amusing Twitter exchange between the brand and team ensued:
— Red Stripe USA (@RedStripeUSA) February 15, 2018
🚨SLEIGH ALL DAY, @Jambobsled🚨
You’ve got yourselves a new sleigh from your friends at @RedStripeUSA!
— Red Stripe USA (@RedStripeUSA) February 16, 2018
Eurosport dances on the ice with Wasserman
The advent of social media changed the relationship between sports and its fans forever. Today, 24/7 coverage and content creation from teams and journalists alike means there’s never been less of a delay between a newsworthy event happening and fans knowing about it.
To this end, sports media giant Eurosport saw the 2018 Winter Olympics as a chance to deliver the first ever completely digitalised Olympic Games.
Eurosport partnered with global ad agency Wasserman, and subdivision Cycle Media, to conceptualise and execute a compelling ‘always on’ digital strategy for the brand’s social portfolio, creating highly responsive content for fans’ entertainment and driving huge volumes of reach and engagement for the Eurosport social channels.
Jonathan Davies, managing director of advertiser partnerships at Eurosport, said that ‘this partnership brings together Eurosport’s outstanding Olympic Games content and audiences with Cycle’s cutting-edge creativity in the social space – giving brands the opportunity to produce bespoke content that engages with younger audiences in new and innovative ways’.
See a few examples of the content they produced below!
It's been described as the biggest upset in the history of the Winter Olympic Games. Listen to the reaction of Eurosport commentators from across Europe to Ester Ledecka's sensational win in the women's Super-G yesterday.#PyeongChang2018 #Olympics #Ledecka pic.twitter.com/OvgOHuPAV0
— Eurosport (@Eurosport) February 18, 2018
She is the American superstar who has 41 World Cup wins to her name at the age of 22.
The women's slalom starts from 0215 CET tomorrow morning.
Mikaela Shiffrin is One to Watch. pic.twitter.com/xmaavqh0SA
— Eurosport (@Eurosport) February 13, 2018
NBC calls for an Uber (and sends a Snap)
Eurosports have led the way in European coverage of the Games, and NBC have been putting in a similar shift for their North American viewers, reporting on the action around the clock and creating digital content for users to interact with.
To place their content in front of as wide an audience as possible, the broadcast organisation partnered with global transport company Uber, in a digital campaign that enabled Uber passengers to access exclusive NBC highlights and interviews from the Uber app while in transit.
‘We’re excited to partner with Uber to reach Olympic fans on the go’, said Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics. ‘Through great partner platforms such as Uber, NBC is able to fuel the Olympic excitement by surrounding the American audience with the great moments and stories unfolding in Pyeongchang.’
To complement this, NBC have also become the world’s first company to directly stream Olympic action through Snapchat.
‘We do believe that the best place to watch a live game and a live awards show is on television’, Ben Schwerin, vice president of partnerships at Snap, told The Wall Street Journal. ‘But if we can show the one moment that matters most on Snapchat, we think we can create a complementary experience’.
It’s interesting to see how the world’s biggest digital channels take to the phenomenon of streaming live events and matches; we’re sure this is something that will only grow more and more prevalent in the build-up to this summer’s World Cup.
P&G pushes back against prejudice with emotional TV spot
P&G, one of the world’s biggest brands, haven’t strayed far from the advertising industry’s spotlight recently, amid repeated threats from CEO Marc Pritchard to reduce P&G’s ad spend unless marketers could demonstrate greater ROI (spoiler alert: marketers did just that).
However, the brand – an Olympic Games official partner – recently demonstrated how on-point their advertising strategy so often is with an incredibly moving TV ad celebrating the diversity of the tournament’s myriad competitors.
It’s a brilliant piece of creative, which masterfully gets right the precarious equilibrium of channeling emotion and becoming overly sentimental whilst championing a powerful and relevant message.
Thanks for reading! We’ll be back next month with more.
by Joe Vaughan