Riding the Olympics wave - Popular marketing Campaigns from London 2012

 The Rio Summer Olympic games are underway. Along with the football World Cup, the Olympic games are arguably the biggest sporting event globally.

The lead up to Rio 2016 has been marred by a political scandal and a slumping economy. However, the undeniable global pull of the games makes it an ideal marketing platform.

Billions are spent, both by official sponsors and guerrilla marketers, to get their brand to bask in the Olympic limelight. Here are a few unique marketing campaigns from the London games in 2012.

 Visa and TBWA created "The Difference" to ride the wave of Olympics-related social media posts. They encouraged users to submit “cheers” for their favourite athletes in the form of a click, post, photo or video. They even got Morgan Freeman to do their video voice-overs. You can never go wrong with Morgan Freeman.

EDF Energy was another brand that used social media activity to drive their campaign, using online for offline activation. They illuminated the London Eye with a light show created using tweets about the Olympics. Dubbed "Energy of the Nation", it measured the mood of the country through 10 million U.K. Twitter users.

The Guardian adopted a digital approach. They drove users to their website to play a retro-looking interactive game, “Could you be a medallist?” Players could choose to be a participant in the 100m sprints, freestyle swimming, and 10km run. After entering your personal best times, the game shows how your time compares to Olympic greats.

Try out the game here

BMW literally created the flashiest campaign of the 2012 Olympics. They designed an offline plus online scavenger hunt where people would look out for gold-covered BMW vehicles.

The locations of the cars would be posted online. People who spotted the cars could snap photos and upload them on social media with the #goldenbmw tag. The best photos won prizes including getting a BMW for a year.

The common theme of 2012 Olympics-related marketing campaigns was the using a combination of online and offline activities. It is a popular tactic used to capitalise on social media interest to amplify marketing campaigns.

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