The 50 day countdown to the 2012 Olympic Games in London is almost upon us so you can expect sponsor activation step up a notch over the next few weeks.
The London Games have already been labelled as the ‘Social Media Olympics’ but after a closer look at the planned activity of the sponsor family, the ‘Facebook Olympics’ might be more appropriate.
In fact, it highlights a worrying trend in that brands (and their agencies) seem drunk on the perceived power of Facebook apps to encourage engagement.
This is by no means a definitive list, but will give you a flavour of what is happening now and what we can expect n 50 days time.
Resource tip: Also check out this great live Olympic sponsor activation tracker from my pals at Sociagility.
Panasonic have taken a traditional offline activity (face painting) and given it an online life with the Panasonic Flag Tags app.
Simply upload a picture, run it through the app, and then you get a patriotic flag face picture back which you can post to your wall or set as your profile picture. League tables are also available, showing which country is ‘showing their colours’ the most.
Create your own Flag Tag here.
Samsung are also using Facebook as part of their exploitation but in a very different way.
Considering Samsung are doing so much around the Olympics, the establishment of the ‘Everyone’s Olympic Games’ hub makes perfect sense (although it initially feels a little too Samsung-centric on first look).
The most interesting tab within the app is the Samsung Global Blogger area which brings together the work of the global blogger team who are reporting back on various things around the Games including celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver.
Visa is also using Facebook as its central hub for fans, pulling in content and activity from several places and platforms.
The ‘cheer’ element of the campaign is an interesting one, although hard to articulate. In Visa’s words, they hope ‘cheering’ will join other popular social actions including ‘pinning’ and ‘liking’. These are lofty aspirations, but only time will tell if they are reachable or not.
P&G is another brand doing a helluva lot around the 2012 Games.
One of the social media channels they have taken to with great conviction is YouTube as evidenced by the Best Job – P&G London 2012 Olympic Games Film – which ties in to its ‘proud sponsor of Mums / Moms’ push.
The film has had more than four million views and probably racked up a million or so crying moments while at it.
Why? Because it tells me that soon as the ‘used by’ date has passed, the Facebook page will fold.
This creates a huge barrier for people who want to get involved in a page when they know any time they spend investing in it will be wasted in the long run.
The Samsung App approach is a much better strategy, pulling people in through the on-going brand page presence and the directing people to content based on orchestrated calendar.
BP have selected to go with a London 2012 Facebook page but judging by its low ‘people talking about’ this number (in relation to the total fan community) it is struggling to captivate its audience.
BA is also doing a lot, and surprise, surprise, Facebook is going to play a big part.
The tag is also used in everyday tweeting so ‘owning’ it is a challenge but it means it will be used as a natural tag too which may help amplify efforts.
The Home Advantage video above gives you a fuller flavour for what BA has in mind.
The premise for this one is simple: “The #GoldenBMW convoy is touring Great Britain. Spot It. Snap It. Share It. to win tickets to the London 2012 Games.”
This activity is taking to regional UK, generating buzz along the way, and using the prize of Olympic tickets to encourage participation. Follow the action via @GoldenBMW.
Omega is drawing on the Rolling Stone classic ‘start me up’ as the backbone of its Olympic activity.
Just last week, it aired its Olympic TVC (see above) on YouTube but has made the classic mistake of featuring its target URL at the bottom of the description (as opposed to the very top) which decreases the likelihood of referrals significantly.
The supporting press materials encourage people to join the conversation by using the #startmeup hashtag but it isn’t completely clear how they intend to do this (yet).
Cadbury UK started its Olympics leverage very early on with its spots versus stripes activity.
More recently, it asked fans to join a virtual march in support their Olympic heroes via a Facebook app which could be shared to create a crowdsourced super march.
The video (complete with ‘Eye of the Tiger’ as the backing track) gives you the full scoop.
The campaign is fronted by Mark Ronson, includes integration with Facebook and even has apps on iPhone and Android.
The Facebook beat maker app is quite fun as it analyses your social activity to create the ‘sound of you.’
Check out my tune here.
This has felt like a marathon blog post so I’m going to stop now but if you come across any other examples of Olympic sponsors doing something interesting, please share below!
Disc: Coca-Cola is a client but I have no involvement in the Olympic activity featured here.