July 23, 2012

Olympic Winners

By Hisham Isa, Vice President (Marketing)

With eyes around the globe turning towards London for the 2012 Olympics, here at BuzzCity we thought it would be a great time to take a look at the some of the best Olympic mobile ads and apps.

Marketing is no longer as simple as coming up with a great creative and placing it in the right media. The key today is for brands to create content that engages consumers. And the winners of our 'Mobile Olympics' know it.

Taking this column's Gold Medal is an innovative campaign by Coca-Cola that combines sports, music, celebrity and interactivity.

Gold:  "Move to the Beat"

Coca-cola enlisted the support of British producer Mark Ronson, singer Katy B and athletes from five countries to create a song based on the sounds of Olympic sports like table tennis, track & field, archery and Taekwondo. It's a pretty cool concept that combines sports and music. What's even better is their mobile app that allows anyone to create and save their own beat using these same sounds.

Simply choose the sounds of sport and a drum beat, touch the record icon and move your phone. Users can record up to six tracks and share their completed songs online.

Download the app and give it a try. It's fun.

Coke is integrating the campaign across several media. There's a documentary, TVC and social media presence in addition to the mobile app.

Silver:  Cadbury  Britain's quintessential chocolate manufacturer - and like Coca-Cola, a sponsor of the London games- is drawing on mobile for several aspects of its Olympic campaigns "Goo Dares Wins" is an app that challenges users to a massive game of Dare. Challenges include singing out of key in a lift, male leg and chest waxing and dis-goo dancing. And of course users can dare their friends too. One of the campaign's taglines was "Let's play games until London 2012" and it built on another successful marketing campaign, the Creme Egg Goo Games
Cadbury also launched a "Virtual Parade" in the UK on Facebook to encourage support of British athletes competing in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Users create avatars, using their own photos, to join an animated parade. They're then encouraged to share pix of the parade with their friends. Unfortunately this campaign also demonstrates that you can not simply 'build it and hope they will come' as the Virtual Parade does not have a very big Facebook following. Brands need to effectively promote their campaigns as well.
Tying into its "Unwrapped" campaign that offered consumers a chance to win free tickets to the Olympics, Cadbury's 'Unwrapped' app provides winners and other VIP guests with all the information they need once they get there. The app delivers a personalised itinerary, the latest Olympic news, advice on getting around and more. 
Samsung & Visa   A select group of athletes and trialists will be able to use the new Samsung Galaxy S III to make purchases at retail locations throughout London by simply holding their phone near a contactless payment terminal, much as they would use a smartcard. Purchases over £20 require a password.  The companies say that there are 140,000 contactless terminals in the UK from Heathrow airport to the Olympic Village.  As we see it, the major drawback of this campaign is that it's limited to a select audience.  
Lessons  There are several reasons why the nature of advertising is changing. Social media is obviously playing a role as are faster networks and the increasingly diffuse nature of media itself. Add to this the fact that many activities that were the province of computers just a couple years ago - like email, instant messaging and social networking - are now increasingly mobile activities.  Within the mobile sector, smartphone penetration is on the rise, making more intricate campaigns possible. Within the BuzzCity network, some 47 percent of consumers now use smartphones. In some markets like the UK, this figure rises as high as nearly 90 percent.  The key to any campaign is still reaching as many eyeballs as possible (before engagement with a targeted audience can begin). However the quest for consumer attention won't be won by just sticking with traditional ad units. Marketers who engage consumers with compelling content that goes beyond conventional advertising will be the ones to stand out from the rest of the pack.  While I've focused on campaigns related to the Olympics in this article, advertisers can link their campaigns to any social event, from Christmas to their own anniversaries.  Not every campaign will be as intricate - or expensive - as "Move to the Beat" either. In fact, most won't. Campaigns can be as simple as providing discount coupons via push SMS or creating Facebook groups for loyalty customers. What's important and essential is to provide consumers with content that they find interesting and engaging.       Related Articles
  • Read more about Brands & Content Strategy in the The BuzzCity Report (Coming soon!)
  • The Key to Smartphones (Coming soon!)