Social Media’s Role in the Olympics

Social Media’s Role in the OlympicsThe Flying Squirrel, the Fab 5, the Most Decorated Olympian, Misty and Kerri – these are just some of the many topics that were highlighted in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. In this day and age, with social media as the focal point of communication, you’d think that advertisers might have thought to integrate social media into their ad campaigns during the Olympics. This was not the case…

According to A.T. Kearney, 50% of the Olympic advertisers made no reference to social media in their ads. Only 10% of advertisers had links to their social media sites from their ads. With that said, half of the advertisers got it right. But what happened to the other half?

Nike’s Find Your Greatness campaign could have been “the perfect opportunity to engage with the social audience by asking them to submit their own stories of greatness. AdWeek adds their two cents suggesting that brands could have included loyal followers by offering a drawing to win a visit from a sponsored athlete. By doing this, it would have created hype and excitement for the brand, allowing for conversation even after the commercial had aired.

Cynthia Boris, writer for Marketing Pilgrim, also points out another example of where social media could have been brought into place was in the P&G ‘Thanks Mom’ ads. These ads were heartfelt and showed national pride, making it the perfect Facebook campaign. As the ad came to a closing, P&G could have said something like “share your story with us on Facebook” – which would have led to Facebook posts, interactions and getting consumers to talk about the brand and feel an emotional connection with it. Overall, it would have given P&G additional exposure by engaging the audience longer than a 30 second commercial.

Of course, it’s hard to tell brands what they should have done because it is unclear as to what demographic and target markets they were geared toward. Obviously there is a wide age range of viewers who watch the Olympics and not all of them are on social media. But for the 955 million users on Facebook and 500 million users on Twitter, it might have been a good idea to involve them (given the fact that many of them probably were watching the Olympics on their smartphones and could have easily engaged with the brand with the click of a button or rather, a touch of the screen).

Original article posted from To view entire article, titled ‘Olympic Advertisers Falter at the Social Media Hurdles’ click here.

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