8 great ads that’ll get you psyched for the Olympics

We’ve already brought you our pick of historic Olympic moments that will make you cringe and cry, now here are some great Olympic advertising moments that will inspire and excite you instead.

Olympic rules regarding sponsorships and brand associations with the event are very strict, so the official sponsors have, by and large, produced the best campaigns we’ve seen and you’ll probably see a lot more of them in the coming weeks all over the world. A few cheeky competitors have also cashed in on the spirit.

Bring on London 2012! Philip is here (again).

1. P&G — Best Job

Proctor & Gamble is dominating the airwaves and viral media charts with its evocative Olympic advert, which continues its “Proud sponsors of Moms” brand positioning. The ad “honours everything that all Mums do to help their children succeed by showcasing the amazing Mums behind Olympic athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games,” says P&G. With over five million views on YouTube, and a related “Thank you Mom” Facebook campaign with almost 700 000 fans, this one is stealing the most shares.

2. Adidas — Great Britain, Take the Stage

Adidas is another official partner of the London 2012 Olympics, and has positioned the brand as proudly Team GB, with its Great Britain #takethestage campaign. The ads are lacklustre, ridden with clichés and cameo appearances from British sports and media personalities, but do build some anticipation to a uniquely British Olympics, and fulfill a specific mission to inspire the country’s youth to greater things.

3. Nike — Find your Greatness

Far more interesting is Nike’s cheeky ambush campaign response to its arch-rival, featuring everyday athletes competing in places around the world in other places named London, and clearly designed to cash in on Olympic fever without paying millions for global sponsorship.

Nike is to launch its “Find your Greatness” campaign in 25 countries timed to coincide with the opening ceremony on Friday. The campaign will also be backed by a Twitter marketing push using the hashtag #findgreatness.

Locations for the TV ad include East London in South Africa, Little London in Jamaica, London Ohio in the US and a health club called London Gym.

4. Coca Cola — Move to the Beat

The Coca-Cola Company has continued its association with music for the global company’s Olympic sponsorship efforts centering on its flagship soda, Coca-Cola. The campaign theme is “Move to the beat” and the centerpiece is a song, “Anywhere in the World,” produced by Mark Ronson, with vocals by Katy B.

The commercials also showcase five athletes hoping to compete in the London 2012 Games, whose athletic exertions are incorporated into the song visually and by fusing the sounds of music and their sport. It’s a great idea, but unfortunately the song itself lacks the upbeat, celebratory vibes needed to build excitement around this kind of event, which Coca Cola did very well in the past with K’Naan’s Wavin’ Flag remix for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

5. BMW — Man and Machine

BMW released this short documentary style commercial ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Man and Machine explores Paralympic athlete David Weir’s relationship with his wheelchair and is directed by Yannakis Jones. It draws parallels between Weir connecting seamlessly with his chair to deliver his ultimate performance at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and the connection between the driver and car, which is “central to BMW in delivering the ultimate driving experience”. The commercial is beautifully shot and produced in typical BMW style.

6. Visa — Go World

Visa’s campaign for the Summer Games will be the largest in the 25 years it has been an Olympic sponsor, executives say. The company’s Go World campaign features several (very gold) commercials, voiced by actor Morgan Freeman, telling inspiring stories about athletes and memorable Olympic moments.

The campaign also has a strong social media element, and will give fans a chance to post good wishes in the form of comments, photographs and video clips on the Visa Facebook page. They can also voice support through comments on Twitter using the hashtag #VisaGoWorld, and online, on sites that include the Visa YouTube channel.

7. EDF — Jeux Olympiques de Londres 2012

Yes, this is in French, but that doesn’t detract from this more humorous take on the Games. The ad shows a pair of workmen from the company test various Olympic venues. The scene with the duo struggling over hurdles with the ‘Rocky’ theme playing in the background is fantastic.

8. Omega — Start Me Up

It’s been 80 years since OMEGA first timed an Olympic Games event, and as Official Timekeeper for London 2012 the company has released an advert celebrating this anniversary. The commercial features athletes Jessica Ennis and Tyson Gay preparing for their events to the Rolling Stones hit ‘Start Me Up’ which is always a great track for getting the party started. It has already amassed over 200 000 hits on YouTube. It has also been 50 years since the Rolling Stones became a band and 31 years since “Start Me Up” first entered the charts, in case you’re interested.

Catherine Murray


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