This is expected to be the first 24/7 “always on” Olympic Games in history, given the rise of social channels and mobile device users.
The 2016 Rio Olympics will be a fully immersive digital explosion with brands and broadcasters prepping omnipresent campaigns to the tune of billions of dollars.
NBC is the exclusive broadcast partner for the Olympics, and as such will stream 4,500 hours of live content during the games. It enlisted BuzzFeed producers to go to Rio and make compelling videos, comics, and illustrations for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other apps. NBC also purchased a slew of social influencers, one of which is The Fine Brothers of YouTube fame, who will produce Olympic versions of their signature videos.
Brands are getting in on the action too, and not just the exclusive Olympic sponsors. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced changes that will open the door for more brands to benefit from their connection to the games. In the past, under IOC’s Rule 40, non-official sponsors were not allowed to feature Olympic athletes in ads that they had sponsorship deals with. But all that’s changed, and though there are still rules in place, they’ve been extensively relaxed.
So beyond the worldwide sponsors of Rio 2016, which include Coca-Cola, Bridgestone, P&G, Dow, Atos, Omega, McDonald’s, Visa, Samsung, GE, and Panasonic, other non-sponsor brands like Red Bull, Under Armor, General Mills, Gatorade, and Asics, all of who have some Olympic athletes on their rosters, will take part in the advertising blitz.
From a digital marketing perspective, “micro-moments” – targeting consumers with mobile ads based on mobile searches for products, information or research – and social media-dominated ad buys will likely be the hottest battleground for eyeballs. Rio will be the first truly 24/7, “always on” Olympics” with millennials leading among digital audiences. Some reports have millennials twice as likely to consume Olympics content on their mobile devices. It’s also reported that nearly eight out of ten millennials won’t watch the games on their televisions, rather they’ll tune into live streaming coverage.
Twitter is another important platform to brands and broadcasters, as it’s ranked number one over Facebook and SnapChat as the place for having the most up-to-date news and information. Specifically, users say they turn to Twitter during live events “to see what other people are saying about it.”
Under Armour is not an official Olympic sponsor but has 250 Olympic athletes on its roster and is likely to make a lot of noise across platforms and devices. The brand has already been active in the ad space with its “Rule Yourself campaign”, and its VP of Global Sports Marketing says it’s planning a large social campaign.
It likely won’t matter what device or platform you turn to in the coming weeks, 6,000 hours of Olympic programming and relaxed rules from the IOC will make this games the most advertised and the most talked about in history.