Liberty Mutual creates 'instant' Sochi ad off Twitter feedback

Spot to be aired on NBC Wednesday night features injured U.S. skier Heidi Kloser

Amid the roughly 400 million tweets sent every day, it’s hard to believe that just one can lead to immediate marketing efforts by a Fortune 100 company. However, a tweet by former advertising executive Alex Bogusky about one of the more heartbreaking stories of the Sochi Games exemplified the world of instant advertising.

Heidi Kloser, a 21-year-old moguls skier for Team USA, tore knee ligaments and broke her femur during a practice on Feb. 6, the day before Sochi’s opening ceremony. Kloser’s Olympic dream was suddenly over before it officially began.

As she rode in an ambulance on the way to the hospital, Kloser turned to her mother, Emily, and asked if she was still an Olympian. “Of course you are,” her mother replied. The story quickly made headlines and was referenced during NBC’s broadcast of the opening ceremony on Feb. 7 as Kloser, on crutches, joined her teammates in the procession of nations.

On Feb. 12, less than a week after Kloser’s injury, Bogusky tweeted, “love the @libertymutual olympic spots. It would be cool if they got this @heidikloser story on before the games are over.”

“We saw that tweet and it was essentially the catalyst for the ad,” said Jenna Lebel, marketing director for Liberty Mutual. “I think it’s really important as a Team USA sponsor to have that real-time, always-on presence from a community management standpoint.”

The Liberty Mutual marketing campaign during the Games centers on the theme of “rise,” highlighting comebacks from adversity by past U.S. Olympians. Kloser, who has returned home to Colorado and hopes to compete in the 2018 Winter Games, presented the insurance giant an opportunity to take advantage of a comeback in the making.

“The courage she’s already shown to begin her comeback is truly what that ‘rise’ moment means,” Lebel said. “She’s already on the road to recovery so quickly after it happened and it’s just a testament of what it takes to be an Olympic athlete.”

Ketchum Sports & Entertainment negotiated and secured Kloser to be a part of the campaign. She, along with her parents, appear in the 30-second spot, which was produced by Havas and filmed on Feb. 15. The ad is scheduled to air on NBC’s Wednesday night broadcast of the Sochi Games.

“The ad itself is a real testament to the power of social media,” Lebel said. “We essentially created an ‘of-the-moment’ national broadcast ad.”

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