Are companies going for the gold with Olympics advertising?

Olympic Rings
By Amy Valentine   |   February 21, 2014

by Amy Valentine

The contrast between the two main sporting events of winter 2014, the Superbowl and the Winter Olympics, provides a great opportunity to compare the ads companies choose to run. Businesses know that they have a great chance to reach a huge target audience with both events. While the Superbowl is a one-time event, the Olympics are spread out over two weeks.

During the Superbowl, crowds of people at parties pay particular attention to the ads, so companies tend to go for funny or shocking or memorable, sometimes at the expense of failing to emphasize the company’s name or product. With social media, the best and worst ads get repeated enough times to remind viewers what the original advertiser’s intention was. Usually. Although I can still think of several Superbowl ads that failed to leave an impression about the company’s product even though I remember the ad. (Doberhuahua ad – what was the car company again?)

The Olympic ads, in contrast to the one-time Superbowl ads, have the benefit of being seen several times so don’t need to be as shocking or memorable. One theme I’ve noticed in both sporting event ads is sentimentality. Proctor and Gamble is continuing their heart-rending campaign on “Moms pick you back up”.

You can’t go wrong promoting the importance of Moms. Especially for a company that makes household products. Nationwide has a series of ads that appeal to the heartstrings as well – does your family like mine appreciate the giant baby as a symbol of how much someone loves their car, and the ad with all the heart-shaped items – camera lenses, television screens, popcorn bowls?

But, my favorite heart-touching ad comes fromChevrolet, “The New Us”. With the new anti-gay laws in Russia, the site of this year’s Olympics, it’s a bold move to highlight same-sex marriages in an ad. That’s just what Chevrolet does. And all the families shown in the ad are real. While three sponsors of the US Olympic Committee, DeVry University, Chobani yogurt, and AT&T have spoken out against the anti-gay laws, Chevrolet actually put a gay family in its ad. In my eyes, Chevrolet took home gold.

Amy Valentine

About the Author

Amy, DeLaune's project manager, helps the office run smoothly, moving projects from client to writer to editor to art.

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