Advertising Spotlight: 2016 Rio Olympics

The 2016 Rio Olympics have come to a close, but the amazing accomplishments of the athletes who competed are still fresh in our minds.

As predicted, the Final Five established themselves as the best gymnasts in the world. Swimmers Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky set new world records in the pool, and Simone Manuel made history as the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in an individual swimming event. Allyson Felix became the most decorated U.S. woman in Olympic track and field history, while Jamaica’s Usain Bolt won gold in his final Olympic race, remaining the fastest man on earth.

History was made left and right, and brands knew the world was watching. A slew of organizations sponsoring the Rio Olympics aired advertisements during the competition. Adweek reports the total number of mentions for the top dozen Olympic sponsors was just under 217,000.

The ads were inspiring, funny, and obviously talked about a great deal on social media.

Given the buzz, the R&A team took a look at five randomly selected ads that aired during the games to vote on which we liked best. Some of the advertisements are still on our minds today, even after the games have ended. Below are the spots and our various reactions to each!

Gillette: Perfect Isn’t Pretty:

This ad gives viewers a glimpse into Olympic training for some of the top male athletes in the world. This was the only ad that featured exclusively male athletes, which makes sense given the brand’s product is men’s razors.

It was a little long for some team members’ tastes, but gave an interesting perspective into the sacrifice and pain that Olympic athletes endure for a shot at success.

 “I loved it. It’s a good example of emotional marketing and how brands can use it effectively.”- Adam Pitzen, Media Buyer.

Samsung: The Anthem:

Samsung creates a unique anthem for the world by featuring people from various countries singing portions of other national anthems. The ad concludes with the tagline: “Proud sponsor of a world without barriers.” This statement speaks to the idea of global unity while drawing attention to the fact that the product featured, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, has a curved screen, giving the phone no visible border.

‘The Anthem’ was the most popular ad among R&A team members from the selection. I guess we’re suckers for the world living together in peace and harmony.

Allison Mantz, Lisa Cardona, Gillian Luce and Melissa Valdez all chose this as their favorite.

“I think that it perfectly symbolizes what the Olympics are – a bigger cause to join the world together in unity. I get chills when I watch it because it shows that there’s a whole world out there, filled with so many different types of people and cultures!” –Gillian Luce, Public Relations and Social Media Manager.

Galaxy Note: Busy Busy Busy:

This ad plays on the stereotype that Americans are constantly busy and never satisfied. It was appreciated by all team members for its humor, but it failed to stand out in anyone’s mind among the others.

Mini USA: #DefyLabels:

This was a short, powerful ad featuring U.S. Olympic athletes declaring labels that others have used to define them, such as black, small, a cancer patient, immigrant and Muslim. Olympic athlete Serena Williams concludes the ad with a powerful message: “The only label that matters is Olympian.”

The end screen features the tagline, “Mini Salutes U.S. Olympians Who Defy Labels,” honoring the idea that athletes who define themselves embody the Olympic spirit.  This was Isabelle Keegan and Melissa Gilmore’s favorite.

“It shows that nothing can hold back a true athlete. If you believe in yourself, train hard and devote yourself to something, you can do anything! It’s definitely motivational to our kids and future athletes that are watching.” – Melissa Gilmore, Graphic Designer.

Visa: Carpool to Rio:

Visa was the most mentioned brand during the Olympics. The ad features Team Visa athletes carpooling together on the road to the Rio Olympics. It’s a fun, well-executed, lighthearted ad that won over R&A team members Ashley Knepper, Jessica Miller and Greg Fulcher.

 “Visa has the formula down in celebrating the product attributes, the athletes themselves and the venue.  They are the most veteran Olympic advertiser in this group, and it shows.  The others were trying too hard to be creative that they lost focus of job one, sell the product and use the Olympics as a tool.  Visa nails it.” – Greg Fulcher, Media Buyer.

Tell us which brand you think won gold in the advertising world. Was there an Olympic ad that’s still on your mind that wasn’t included in this post? Let us know in the comments below!




Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)