On the 5th August 2016, the Rio Olympics kicked off in style with over 11,000 athletes from 27 nations eager to begin the Games and bring medals home to their country. One of the most-followed events in the world, the 2016 Olympics opening ceremony was watched by around 30 million people from around the world.
So with the Olympics gaining so much attention, it should come as no surprise that brands have created Olympic-themed video ads. But whose is the best and whose has gained the most views?
29,618,974 views (view count accurate as of 8th August)
Taking the number one spot, Samsung have created an ad to reflect the company’s “continuous pursuit to break down geographic barriers and unite the world through technology”. To represent this, the ad pictures Olympians and fans singing national anthems different to their own – all sung into Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge.
With each clip seamlessly running on to the next to create a new anthem, combined with iconic and breathtaking visuals from around the world, Samsung’s videographers should take much of the credit for the success of this advert.
Narrowly missing out on the top position, Gillette’s Olympics ad comes in a close second with an emotive ad that focuses on the physical as well as mental pressure that Olympians have to endure to compete at the highest level - all tied together with their slogan, ‘The best a man can get isn’t always pretty’.
Celebrity endorsements are known to bring in views, and this ad couldn’t support this better with cameos from footballer Neymar Jr., swimmer Ning Zetao and decathlete Ashton Eaton, amongst many more.
Another ad by Samsung to take advantage of the Olympics, this uplifting ad follows Margret Rumat Rumat Hassan’s journey to the Olympics as part of the South Sudan team – the nation’s first ever Olympic Games. The ad shows scenes of celebration and pride in South Sudan, interspersed with shots of Hassan entering the Olympic arena for the first time – of course wearing Samsung’s new cord-free earbuds.
This ad perfectly shows the power of news trend marketing and how brands can gain great awareness by playing on current news stories – particularly those with a positive and inspiring message as South Sudan's is.
As the undisputed biggest name at the Olympics, Gatorade’s decision to centre their ad on Usain Bolt is perhaps unsurprising. The ad takes us through “Bolt’s journey from childhood dreamer to global superstar”, representing his life as a schoolboy in Jamaica to struggling with the pressures of expectation after becoming the world’s fastest man.
Because experts repeatedly claim that the human’s attention span is decreasing, brands are increasingly creating short video ads in fear of losing the viewer’s interest. However, this ad disproves such theories. Seven minutes long, it has already gained over 6 million views and shows that if an ad is captivating, viewers will hang around to watch it.
Michael Phelps has been an endorser of Under Armor since 2010, but with the Rio Olympics likely to be his last, the sports brand has made sure to make the most of his success. Creating an ad about Phelps’ intense training routine, from swimming with resistance to taking ice baths, the advert reveals the incredibly difficult work he has had, and continues, to do to become the great Olympian he is.
With such a well-known celebrity, it would perhaps have been an achievement for this ad not to have been a success!
Concentrating on the Paralympics Games, Channel 4’s ad showcases the extraordinary talent of disabled people in all activities – not only athletes. For example, a pilot is shown steering a plane with her feet and an athlete without hands brushing his teeth – a true “unbridled celebration of ability”.
This ad’s huge number of views is largely the result of its ‘shareability’ on social media. Within 3 weeks, it had become the second-most-shared Olympic ad of all time with 1.26 million shares. Once again, this ad proves the power and potential of social media for brand marketing.
XXL’s ad plays upon the unifying power of sport and the Olympics, by representing conflict and subsequent resolution through football in Brazil. In the ad, a boy is shown being wrongly chased by Brazilian police till the famous Brazilian striker Ronaldinho reveals their mistake. The opposing parties then come together and play a lively, celebratory game of football with much celebration.
The celebration suggests the power the Olympics in Rio has to unify Brazil, as well as bring the world together as a whole – an uplifting and cheerful ad that proves how much brand awareness can be improved by playing on current events with a dash of Brazilian football fame.
Perhaps surprisingly coming in at 8th position, Visa’s Olympic ad features 20 Visa-sponsored Olympians as they join a humourous carpool to the Rio Olympics, along the way using the company’s technologies.
The global nature of this ad has been instrumental in its success. Featuring Olympians from all over the world including USA’s Missy Franklin, South Africa’s Niekerk, Japan’s Daiya Seto and Mexico’s Maria Espinoza, to name just a few, this is one of Visa’s most global campaign that has run around the world, as well as across a huge number of channels from digital to broadcast.
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