SBJ/July 25-31, 2011/Olympics

NBC begins Olympics ‘roadblock’

NBC will kick off its Olympic marketing efforts Wednesday with a 60-second promo that will run across all of NBC’s TV channels.

The “roadblock” will occur via all 20 NBCUniversal channels, plus its regional sports networks, at 8 p.m. — exactly one year from the start of the Olympic Games in London.

“It sounds like a lot, but this is a little more ceremonial, rather than a major consumer push,” said NBC Sports marketing executive John Miller.

The marketing message will not focus on athletes, though Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt will be part of the ad. Rather, the message will promote an event that brings the world together.

“If you’re 20 years old, our country has been at war for half your life,” Miller said. “You’re interested in seeing an event where the world can come together in peaceful competition.”

At the end of the ad, NBC will highlight that it is the Olympic home through the 2020 Games.

The creative was developed in-house and will not be placed on any non-NBC property when it debuts this week.

The marketing push is similar to one NBC undertook in 2007, 12 months ahead of the Beijing Games. Miller said these types of marketing campaigns are a good way to get the whole company behind the Olympics.
Phelps, Beijing are featured in new NBC ad.

The “Today” show will feature Olympic content throughout the program. NBC also is planning a social roadblock on its Facebook and Twitter accounts at 8 a.m. that day. NBCU’s websites will carry banner ads.

NBC will next roll out campaigns around the Macy’s parade on Thanksgiving, followed by spots at the end of the NFL regular season and into the playoffs. After a small increase in April and May, NBC will ramp up its marketing again in June and July running into the Games.

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