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Marketing Lessons From The Olympic Games

2013 March 22

With the Olympic buzz behind us, we can reflect less patriotically and more logically upon the events of the Games. I’m not talking here about the results of the 100m sprint or the curious spectacle of dressage – I’m talking about the Olympic marketing.

The London Olympics was absolutely dominated by social media/online marketing – to the extent that the BBC reported around 55 million individual viewers watching the Games via the Internet. The forward-thinking marketers were the ones that benefitted; the content which created the biggest buzz had been planned meticulously to appeal across cultures and engage viewers in as many different languages as possible – and that sort of thing takes time.

But time doing this is time well spent; one thing we can all learn is the power of marketing to a global audience at events like this, and with that in mind, here are three things to keep in mind for future marketing campaigns.

Multi-language content is huge

The Games showed that the demand for high quality, relevant content in as many languages as possible is greater than ever, and whilst this takes time to produce the benefits in the long run are huge. Better still, trends are that the traditional television is giving way to Internet and on-demand viewing, which means that this demand will just grow in years to come. Start thinking about what you could do to get your brand involved now.

Online > Television

Picking up on the last point, the Games taught us that online video advertising is becoming much more powerful than the televised equivalent. With the number of people connecting from the Internet rising so rapidly, the advertising market is moving more and more in favour of the Web – even if this means higher fees. With this in mind, it’s time to truly take advantage of the cost absorption provided by hosting sites such as YouTube – beat the crowd and get your video advertisement on key Internet spaces before your competitors.

… point #1 isn’t enough

Having multi-language content on its own gets you half of the way, but there’s still more you can do. Alongside this, the Games showed us that people are thirsty for well-produced content which provides multicultural information. The Olympics crossed both language and social barriers, and this was why it was so effective. Look into doing the same with your next campaign.

Of course, the next big event which this reminds us of is Rio 2016, but you can bet that some of the 2012 advertising campaigns took years to produce – so the smart move is to begin your production now.

Ron writes for marketing and SEO agency Vision Media.

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