While many of us are watching the events of the 30th Olympiad unfold, there is another Olympics happening. In this Olympics, it’s not about the world’s best athletes competing at the pinnacle of their sport; it’s about top brands competing for the world’s attention–and wallets. Between the record-breaking swimming events, volleyball skin games, and gymnastics pyrotechnics are 30-second spots designed to captivate hearts and minds.
But did the more than $1 billion spent on Olympics advertising effectively “activate” the brands that have chosen to compete–the way that Tom Stein defines brand activation in this blog’s inaugural post, “Activating' Brands In A Hyperactive World”?
Marketers have come to realize that the real value of a strong television presence at the Olympics is not realized through 30 seconds of airtime. Even the best spot in and of itself will not activate a brand. But the right ad can be a catalyst for engagement that ultimately leads to brand activation.
As a result, many of the polls, analyses, and reporting devices/meters rating ad popularity and brand impact tell only a partial story.Those systems largely communicate viewing activity at a specific point in time. They can tell you audience size, demographics, location, and device used for viewing–but what does the audience do after those transfixing 30 seconds?
To answer that, we’ve taken our analysis a step further.
In January, I published the inaugural Super Bowl Brand Activation Index (SBAI) highlighting the top five brands whose ad presence in the big game was transcendent. Based on our own methodology (detailed below), we ranked those brands that generated extended and positive engagement beyond Super Bowl Sunday, thus generating significantly greater value from their broadcast investments.
This month, I’m back for the first installment of the Olympics Brand Activation Index (OBAI), a look at the real impact that an investment of $400,000 per spot during the 17-day event has on a brand.
During and after prime-time airing, we examined what consumers did and said after commercials aired. Specifically, we examined branded search engine queries, tweets and Facebook posts, trending, and the sentiment (positive, negative, or neutral) of that activity. All data, including spend, was normalized to arrive at a fair and balanced index.
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the pinnacle of brand activation, the Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal winners are:
Gold Medal–Nike: Find Your Greatness
This campaign exploded in social media and across the search engines. In a single day (July 28, the day after the opening ceremonies), Nike added 75,000-plus new Facebook likes–besting all other advertisers. If there were a sentiment tracker that went beyond positive to uber-positive, then Nike would get it. Most importantly, people have not stopped talking about Nike: On average, 132,000-plus additional people are talking about the campaign and brand every day, which is exponentially higher than any other advertiser.
Silver Medal–Visa: Go World
Visa has shown it can still captivate the hearts and minds of an audience–especially when Morgan Freeman is the brand’s voice. Visa added 50,000-plus new fans on Facebook, and mentions of the brand across Twitter were up 27 percent. Interest in Visa and the Go World campaign has increased 24 percent on Google and continues to increase daily.
Bronze Medal–Proctor and Gamble (P&G): Thank You Mom
Here’s one of my personal favorites. Viewers went to Google in droves looking for more information about the campaign and brand, with interest increasing 32 percent compared to pre-Olympics in the first day and then another 20 percent the day after that. Interestingly, during the events of July 31st (USA women’s gymnastics gold medal, Michael Phelps’ record breaking 19th Olympic medal, etc.) when NBC did a parents montage, P&G’s Facebook likes shot up by more than 13,000.
Part 1 of the 2012 London Olympics Brand Activation Index covers the first five days of the games (July 27 to July 31). Part 2 will be a full analysis following the completion of the games.
- Search volume measured across Google, Yahoo, and Bing for branded keywords and key phrases/campaign names of advertisers.
- Interest as measured by Google Insight.
- Facebook wall volume for all advertisers and percent change pre- vs. post-Olympics.
- Tweet volume and hashtag volume for all advertisers and percent change pre- vs. post-Olympics.
- Measurements taken prior, during and post U.S. primetime broadcast.