Lessons From London 2012
By MEC Access
When brands buy the rights to the Olympics, they gain the opportunity to engage with the passions of at least half the world’s population1
. However, purchasing rights only buys sponsors the canvas for their campaign. It is through effective activation that sponsors are able to create a picture that truly engages their audience. As Olympic fever fades into the distance, it’s useful to reflect on how sponsors used consumer engagement with the Olympics to activate their own sponsorships within the UK and globally. By reflecting on the lessons learnt from London 2012, we can consider the opportunities for sponsors to harness consumer excitement at future events. Pioneering product placement
Overall, London 2012 was the most watched Games ever. In the UK, 95% of the population tuned in at some point over the fortnight. The Opening Ceremony drew an audience of 591 million globally with 28.7 million watching in the UK alone. If we exclude home nation figures, there was a 6% increase in global viewing figures from Beijing, which gave London 2012’s Opening Ceremony the global ad value equivalent of $1.27 billion. These unprecedented figures provided innovative opportunities for sponsors. Although the IOC’s rule 50 states that the Olympic stadium should be free of all commercial activity, Samsung and BMW were able to activate their sponsorships during the Opening Ceremony through well-chosen product placement. Both the 100 Galaxy Notes and the MINI used in the ceremony were integrated into the storyline, adding to, and defining parts of the experience whilst delivering high visibility for both brands. During the Games, BMW’s remote controlled MINIs in the stadium were arguably the brand’s most impactful product placement, as fans were charmed by their functionality and form. These pioneering developments should provide exciting opportunities for sponsors at Sochi, Rio and other major sporting events. More mobile moments
Although time zones affected live viewing globally, this was the Games where consumers could watch video on demand, wherever they were, whenever they wanted. The rise in mobile and tablet over the last four years meant that online video was consumed in higher quantities than any other Games. During the Games, the BBC saw 106 million requests for video content across all online platforms and 12 million requests for video via mobile. The official Olympics app was downloaded 15 million times worldwide in 155 countries, achieving the number one ranking in seven countries. This enormous volume of mobile consumption over the Games was a key channel sponsors could have used to engage with consumer passions. Samsung’s ‘Take Part 2012’ app enhanced consumer experience of the Games, but generally, mobile was one of the channels underused by sponsors and it was LOCOG and the BBC who used mobile best. In future events, sponsors would benefit from mobile integration, ensuring from the offset that they optimise content for mobile sites.1 According to Partnership IntelligenceTM 53% of the global population ‘like’ or ‘love’ London 2012.
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