SBD/February 21, 2014/Olympics

Getting Their Message Across: P&G, Visa Lauded For Olympic Advertising

The advertising winners of the Sochi Games "managed to both harness the feel-good nature of the Olympics and convey a message about their products," while the losers "failed to make memorable ads or worse, made an unfavorable brand impression to the millions of people watching," according to Mae Anderson of the AP. Medal winners in the ad game include Procter & Gamble, which "won points early with its feel-good ad 'Pick Them Back Up.'" The spot is a "part of its popular 'Thank You Mom' campaign that shows moms supporting young athletes when they fall down." Kontera Senior VP/Products & Marketing Ammiel Kamon said, "They won by getting out early." Anderson noted Visa was "able to respond quickly on Facebook when its athletes won gold medals, and that paid off." A photo mosaic tribute to Gold Medal-winning U.S. ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White "has received 54,000 likes and nearly 3,000 shares." Another for Gold Medal-winning U.S. freeskier David Wise "received 39,000 likes and more than 1,600 shares." Meanwhile, the brands "going home empty-handed" include Under Armour. It is unclear whether the UA speedskating suit "had anything to do with the team’s performance, and some experts say the flap is unlikely to hurt domestic sales of its core products such as shoes and T-shirts." But it was "a blow to the brand because it came in front of a global audience right at the time when Under Armour is seeking to expand internationally." Meanwhile, McDonald's was "limping out of the gate from the start." In addition to its #CheerstoSochi, campaign, the QSR's TV spots "failed to impress." One ad that shows "Olympic champions biting their medals and comparing that to people biting Chicken McNuggets didn't resonate with consumers" (AP, 2/20).

COOKIE MONSTER: The GLOBE & MAIL's Susan Krashinsky notes Mondelez Canada this year signed a new sponsorship with the COC, and the company has "undertaken an unprecedented effort to win over Canadian viewers tuned in ... not just on television, but on 'second screens.'" After the Canadian women's hockey team tied the Gold Medal game at 2-2 with seconds left in regulation Thursday, DraftFCB Creative Group Head Jeff Hilts "started sketching." Moments earlier, the agency had "sent out a tweet calling the game 'a nail-biter' (and encouraging people to bite into a cookie instead)." Sensing a "turnaround might be in the works, he wrote up a new post," reading, "Recipe for gold: 1 part skill, 1 part heart, 1 part awesome comeback" (GLOBE & MAIL, 2/21).

NO COFFEE FOR YOU: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Sonne & Troianovski noted after news of NBC's private Starbucks went public, the baristas that NBC had been "paying to staff it have been doubling as security personnel, handing over steaming Starbucks cups only after ascertaining that recipients don't intend to leave NBC offices." After the story went public, NBC "coffee enthusiasts showed up at their much-loved private Starbucks and found a new warning sign." The sign read in capital letters, "Please enjoy your Starbucks within NBC space only. Do not leave NBC space with your Starbucks cup" (, 2/20).
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