SBD/July 26, 2012/Olympics

Obama Re-election Campaign Spends $6M On Olympic Ads On NBC, Cable Networks

President Obama’s re-election campaign has “snapped up $6 million in Olympics air time, a national buy that includes at least one 30-second prime time spot per night,” according to sources cited by Anthony Crupi of ADWEEK. The first Obama ad will air tomorrow night during NBC’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony. The buy “includes daytime and afternoon inventory.” The Obama buy also includes “as many as two dozen ads on the NBCU cable properties NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC and Bravo.” Crupi noted the Romney campaign “has yet to make a national buy.” The Republican National Committee this week “picked up a run of prime time spots.” Meanwhile, the conservative Super PAC Restore Our Future has “bought $7.2 million worth of airtime in 11 states, with an eye toward running pro-Romney spots through August 9” (ADWEEK.com, 7/25). NBC yesterday announced it had surpassed $1B in ad sales for the Games (NBC).

CHANGE OF TUNE: USA TODAY’s Bruce Horovitz reports Go Daddy has “created three slightly toned-down commercials to air 18 times on NBC during the London Games.” One ad features a “sexy model taking a bubble bath -- but it gives equal screen time to an IT geek who makes Go Daddy tick from the inside.” The other spots feature “sexy women, one stroking an otter, another sensually squashing berries.” Both also “star IT geeks.” The theme of the campaign is “beauty on the outside but brains on the inside.” The move is “a clear break from the emotional and patriotic-theme ads that many marketers air during the Olympics.” However, the “multi-million-dollar campaign represents Go Daddy’s first step in a delicate segue from a sexually titillating marketer to one that still winks at its past but focuses on its ability to help small businesses with their websites.” The ads do not feature NASCAR driver and Go Daddy spokesperson Danica Patrick, a regular in past Go Daddy spots. Go Daddy's previous Olympic involvement was limited to “one commercial one time” during the ’10 Vancouver Games (USA TODAY, 7/26).

APPEAL OVER THE POND: AD AGE’s Natalie Zmuda noted Vitaminwater is “looking to boost its international presence with its first Summer Olympics campaign.” The campaign, "Games, Only Better," will not run in the U.S., as it is “meant to drive trial and recruitment overseas, as well as raise overall brand awareness levels.” One-fifth of the brand's sales “come from outside the U.S.” Glaceau Global Brand Dir Eric Lewis, whose company produces Vitaminwater, said that the Olympics campaign was “built around the insight that a certain group of consumers is viewing the London games as a ‘big party with a sporting event in the middle.’" In keeping with that idea, the Glaceau Tasting Vehicle will be “making its way through the streets of London and setting up games such as oversized Jenga and Twister.” Outdoor ads feature taglines such as, "Long jump, only better" and "Archery, only better." The former “shows a couple jumping into a pristine lake, while the latter shows cupid aiming an arrow over London.” N.Y.-based agency Droga5 worked on the campaign (ADAGE.com, 7/25).
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