Brands Paying Big Gold May Not Be Coming in First
The Summer Olympics have brought a battle of strength and performance not only for the world’s finest athletes, but also the world’s biggest brands. Close to a billion dollars have been spent on marketing for power brands including Coca Cola, Proctor & Gamble, McDonalds, Visa and GE to name a few. But do these dollars really amount to gold medals?
A recent online survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers shows signs that these marketing efforts may not be paying off like they should. The respondents were asked to name the official sponsors of the Olympics, and although many were able to do so, they also listed their competitors as being sponsors. For instance, McDonalds was recognized by most of the respondents, however they also recognized Burger King to be a sponsor. According to Ad Age, “Respondents who identified brands as sponsors, whether correctly or incorrectly, were then asked if that Olympic sponsorship makes them feel more positive about that brand. Some of the highest response rates were for brands that aren’t sponsors.”
Despite the survey results, there is no debating that many of these brands have brought their A-game with new commercials and marketing efforts. Some of the best ads focus on the emotional side of competing in the Olympics. Take a look at Proctor & Gamble “Kids 2012” or the Visa “Nadia Comaneci Team Visa Athlete” commercials on YouTube.
What does this mean? It could mean that the dollars spent to be official Olympic sponsors may be in vain. And competitors of official sponsors may be pushing ahead without footing the bill. Will this make marketers rethink their promotional and sponsorship budgets? Probably not. But for the love of the advertising industry and the great work we get to see them doing, I say “May the best brand win.”