What the Advertising Industry Learned From the Olympics

nike-find-your-greatness6.jpeg

Well, it's over; the XXX Olympics have come and gone. Two weeks of non-stop athletic competition led to Sunday's Closing Ceremony. After watching the Opening Ceremony with its stunning visual and historical festivities, I was not sure what to expect. Would the Queen do another stunt? Would David Beckham fly a helicopter into the stadium with all of the Spice Girls on board? Would Sir Elton John sing with Bono, U2, and Mick Jagger? Would the Olympic flame be disassembled and taken away in a hot air balloon?

Wow; Britain did the Closing Ceremony right. Motor scooters traversing the stadium, singers on Rolls Royce convertibles, dancers gyrating, Eric Idle with angels, Russell Brand and Fat Boy Slim, Super Models strutting their stuff, Annie Lennox singing, and the Spice Girls - all of them. (With Victoria and David Beckham, is this the first husband, Opening Ceremony, and wife, Closing Ceremony, Olympics?) Everywhere you looked there were British flags - the Union Jack in cloth, on uniforms, in electric lights, and in human form. As you watched the Parade of Athletes, each athlete looked happy, having fun, and enjoying his or her moment in the sun. We watched the athletes, and the athletes watched us, and each other.

more »

by Steve Hall    Aug-16-12    
Topic: Opinion



How the Olympics Has Fueled Mobile Growth

olympics-mobile-600.jpeg

This Olympics-focused editorial series is written by Ronald Urbach, Chairman of law firm Davis & Gilbert LLP and the co-chair of the Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Practice Group at the firm.

The Olympics - I have been watching exciting events, fantastic competition and great stories. This week, I became the roving warrior, on the west coast in meetings. How was I going to stay connected to the Olympics? I became emotionally invested during Week One; I was not going to be happy merely reading the results online.

The good news of course is that we now live in a world where being away from a television no longer means having to miss the show. Most of us already carry in our pockets and handbags our principal communication device, our smartphone. But fewer of us are aware that our phone may soon be our principal entertainment and viewing device as well. Already for these Olympics, having a smartphone (and a cable subscription) means having the ability to watch all 302 competitions of all 32 Olympic sports, both as they happen in real time, and in many instances, on demand, in available taped programs.

more »

by Steve Hall    Aug-10-12    
Topic: Mobile/Wireless, Opinion



Five Tips For Marketers Eyeing Olympic Athlete Endorsements

leryn_franco.jpeg
Questionable? Brilliant?

This Olympics-focused editorial series is written by Ronald Urbach, Chairman of law firm Davis & Gilbert LLP and the co-chair of the Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Practice Group at the firm.

Much of what we hear as we read the reports of the Olympics is: how many medals? It appears that the media is compelled to quantify success, sort of like an Olympic box score. Is the US leading in the total medal count? Is the US leading in gold medals? How many medals does China have? Will Great Britain, the host country, finally begin to rack up the medals? As I write this article, the US is leading in total overall medals, though not in gold. Great Britain is coming on strong - now in third, and Andy Murray beat Roger Federer for the coveted gold in men's tennis.

But to advertisers and agencies, the medal count pales next to the critical question - who will be the breakout advertising spokesperson of the 2012 Olympics? Will anyone rise to the level of a true advertising superstar?

more »

by Steve Hall    Aug- 8-12    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Opinion, Policy, Sponsorship



Shuttlecocks + Controversy = Happy Advertisers

Shuttlecocks_Yonex_Aerosensa_20.jpeg

This Olympics-focused editorial series is written by Ronald Urbach, Chairman of law firm Davis & Gilbert LLP and the co-chair of the Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Practice Group at the firm.

I don't know about you, but the last time I played badminton was when I was on summer vacation with my kids. We bought the kit at the local hardware store, set it up on the grass and started playing. As we played, not only did we have fun, we got better. This stimulated me to learn a little more about the game: the little birdie thing that we were hitting was called a shuttlecock, and the game itself had been started by bored British military officers in 18th century India.

What does my summer vacation game have to do with the Olympics, advertisers, and agencies? Well, thanks to the South Korean, Indonesian, and Chinese Olympic badminton teams, I now know that badminton is an Olympic sport and has been since 1992. Eight Olympic badminton players from these countries threw their games - in other words, they intentionally tried to lose. Was this a Black Sox Scandal? No. No one was bribed and no one was betting on the matches hoping to personally profit from their actions. What happened was they wanted to lose so that they would face an easier opponent in the later rounds of the competition. Call it strategic losing. Go to YouTube and watch one of the matches - the entire stadium audience recognized what was happening and boos rained down on the athletes. It was bizarre.

more »

by Steve Hall    Aug- 6-12    
Topic: Opinion



The Importance (And Relevance) of Official Olympic Sponsorship

london_olympic_2012_sponsor.png

This Olympics-focused editorial series is written by Ronald Urbach, Chairman of law firm Davis & Gilbert LLP and the co-chair of the Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Practice Group at the firm.

How many of you have seen this phrase in advertising on the Olympics broadcast: Official Sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Committee? We have all seen these words before. But take a moment and think about them. What do these words really mean? Who cares what they mean?

Consider the word - "Official." The key authorizing party behind the Olympics has decided that some companies will be in the club and the rest will not. To get in the club, a company has to enter in to a formal sponsorship agreement and pay a substantial fee; and in turn, it gets the right to call itself an Official Sponsor.

more »

by Steve Hall    Aug- 2-12    
Topic: Opinion



Advertising Lessons Learned From the Olympics Opening Ceremony

london_olympics_china_womens_volleyball.jpeg

This Olympics-focused editorial series is written by Ronald Urbach, Chairman of law firm Davis & Gilbert LLP and the co-chair of the Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Practice Group at the firm.

It has begun, the Olympics. Even the name sounds grand. For the athletes, it reflects years of overwhelming personal effort and training focused on a singular goal - to win gold. For each country, it's time to fly the flag and show pride. For London, it's the moment where they can show off to the world. For the agencies, advertisers, marketers, media, and the people and businesses that live and work in the ad ecosystem, they see the Olympics from their own unique vantage point.

But for me - a lawyer and head of the preeminent law firm in the advertising industry, and someone who has been living and breathing advertising and marketing his entire professional career, I see things through a very different prism. Over the next two weeks, I am going to give you my thoughts on what I am calling, the Olympics of Advertising.

more »

by Steve Hall    Jul-31-12    
Topic: Opinion



Apple Shoots Self in Foot With New Windows-Like Campaign

apple_mayday.jpg

So everyone is piling on TBWA for two its most recent Apple commercials in which a Dell Dude-like character comes to the rescue of people in the midst of various computing nightmares. The piling on is well warranted for one simple reason; Apple products are supposed to be so easy to use that you rarely have to call in an Apple Genius for help.

more »

by Steve Hall    Jul-29-12    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Campaigns, Opinion



Why Storybranding Trumps Traditional Advertising

storybranding

This guest article is written by Jim Signorelli is CEO of StoryLab Marketing.

"Hey There, I'm Terrific!"

How could anyone expect to sell anything this way? Telling someone you're terrific is so, well...crass, obnoxious, Neanderthal, anything but effective. Right?

Curious, I created an experiment. I set out to see how people would actually react to someone saying "Hey there! I am terrific!", not in written words, but in a real face-to-face interaction. So, taking life into my own hands, I stood out on a street corner to see how passersby might react.

After a startled stare and/or a quizzical "huh?," I either received a polite "no thanks" or a profane description of what I should do with or to myself. Consequently, I gave up on this experiment early on so I don't have anything that would come even close to a projectable sample. But I'm going to take a leap of faith and hypothesize that the chances of someone responding with "okay, I'm buying whatever terrificness you're selling," are slim to none.

So why would I do such a thing? What's to figure out? Nobody talks this way. So what's the big deal?

more »

by Steve Hall    Jul-13-12    
Topic: Opinion



Multifarious Marketing: A New Spin on Targeting

marketing_strategy.jpeg

This guest article is written by Dave McMullen, Partner and CEO at redpepper.

It wasn't that long ago when we were taught the key to successful marketing was focus. Sending a clear message to a well-defined target audience was the only way to build a brand. Today's marketers know that this is no longer the only way, nor even the best way. In fact, many marketers are facing an increasingly complex landscape of consumers, media platforms, and service providers that can cause them to spend more time trying to save their job than creating effective marketing.

Multifarious marketing is multiple groups working toward multiple goals on multiple platforms and reaching multiple audiences with one core message. Below are a few notes on navigating the new world of "multi".

more »

by Steve Hall    Jul- 3-12    
Topic: Opinion



Five Places to Look For Your Brand's Story

whats_your_story.jpeg

This guest article is written by Jim Signorelli, CEO of StoryLab Marketing in Chicago and author of StoryBranding: Creating Standout Brands Through The Power Of Story.

Finding your authentic brand's story is not a luxury for the touchy-feely. Given our overloaded channels of communication and the general lack of trust (and boredom) with advertising messages, finding your brand's true emotional core and expressing it through your brand's story is a must.

But first, you must know what you're looking for.

If you ask any storywriter, "what are you trying to say through your story?" chances are you will get some expression of their worldview or values. If you ask the same question of a marketer, you might get something that resembles a unique selling proposition or what is now commonly referred to as an elevator speech. Brand stories are something very different than elevator speeches, and far more powerful.

more »

by Steve Hall    Jul- 2-12    
Topic: Brands, Opinion










Featured FREE Resource: