According to Demitri Kalogeropoulos of The Motley Fool Blog Network, “There are 11 multinational companies that make up the official list of worldwide sponsors to the Olympic games. And to get on this list they each pay a hefty premium for their places near the podium. For an outlay of close to $100 million, sponsors get worldwide advertising rights to one full cycle of summer and winter games.”
Video Ads from Official Sponsors/Partners of the 2012 Olympics
Now, you may think that P&G is getting its money’s worth from being a Worldwide Olympic Partner. Its YouTube video, “Best Job | P&G London 2012 Olympic Games Film,” has more than 13.3 million views and close to 2.1 million shares, giving it first place in the Official Olympics 2012 Ads chart.
In second place is Edf Energy, a London 2012 Olympic Partner. Its YouTube video, “EDF Energy Feel Better Energy TV advert,” has almost 1.2 million views and close to 119,000 shares.
In third place is P&G’s “Raising an Olympian - GABBY DOUGLAS” has more than 1.6 million views and close to 100,000 shares.
But the Official Olympics 2012 Ads chart only looks at YouTube videos from official sponsors of the 2012 Olympics.
Non-Official Branded Olympic Video Ads Take Gold
If you look at the Global Ads Chart for the past 30 days, you will some YouTube videos from other brands that are snatching gold from the jaws of official Olympic advertisers.
For example, check out “.” Yes, it only has 532,000 views and 67,000 shares, but Nike didn’t fork over close to $100 million to become an official sponsor of the 2012 Olympics.
Close behind that video is “.” It has over 4.2 million views and 50,000 shares.
And then there’s “Escape The Madness” from Tourism Ireland. It has almost 287,000 views and almost 8,000 shares.
I think there is an important lesson here for online video marketers.
“Tent-pole events drive search trends, editorial opportunities, audience interests, and advertiser campaigns.”
And Kevin Allocca of YouTube Trends recently reported that “Olympics 2012” is a top rising search in the U.S. over the past 30 days. And any online video marketer can take advantage of this trend.
You can create great ads, amusing parodies, or unolympic moments. For example, check out the “Reach for the Gold” playlist on the Hostess Snacks channel.
Now, Hostess isn’t an official sponsor of the 2012 Olympics. But its playlist is a perfect example of tent-pole programming.
Is this fair?
Let me answer this question with a long, rambling story.
Back in mid-1960s, I was a competitive swimmer for the Spartan Swim Club. One of my teammates was Gary Dilley. He represented the United States at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where he received a silver medal in men’s 200 meter backstroke, finishing behind compatriot Jed Graef.
There’s an old Universal Newsreel entitled, “The Olympics! US Dominates Tokyo Games 1964/10/15,” that includes a clip of that backstroke race.
That newsreel also features Don Schollander. With four gold medals, he was the most successful athlete at the 1964 Summer Olympics.
Schollander swam for the Santa Clara Swim Club, and he often beat me when his club competed with mine.
But, I beat him – once.
At that event, I felt myself leaning before the official start, which put me in danger of making “a false start.” My coach had always said, “If you feel you’re going to false start, try to get off to a flying start.” And I also remembered to streamline as I entered the Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Now, virtually everyone there saw me leave the block before the starter’s pistol was fired. But the starter had closed his eyes when he pulled the trigger. And since only the starter can call a false start, the race was off to “a fair start.”
I ended up winning the event – by a fraction of a second.
What’s the moral of this story?
Just because Nike, Tourism Ireland, and Hostess didn’t pony up close to $100 million to become an official sponsor of the 2012 Olympics doesn’t mean that they should be disqualified. The International Olympic Committee may think I’ve closed my eyes to their false starts, but I feel these online video marketers have all made some pretty “fair starts.”
Don’t you agree?