We’re all aware of the concept of a rising tide lifting all boats. Today’s MediaPost MarketingDaily reported on the latest real-world example of that concept using the Olympics. In a nutshell: Official sponsors (Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Visa) are clearly recognized as being such, but competing brands (Pepsi, Subway and American Express) are mistaken for being sponsors too. Research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey cites the various levels of sponsorship as a potential source for this confusion. It makes sense, but whatever the cause of the mistaken identities, the CMB study is a great example of putting proof points behind commonly-held assumptions about how the Goliaths’ marketing efforts might impact the Davids.
The question I want to raise is one that neither MediaPost nor CMB asked: How are Olympic fans experiencing these sponsorships (actual or mistaken)? This piece about NBC research, published in Ad Age, points to how much more effective Olympics TV advertising has been, versus ads running during regularly scheduled programming.
But given all of the hype about this being the first Social Media Olympics, given all the effort the International Olympic Committee put behind their Facebook Fan Page, and given the attention so many marketers gave to athletes on Twitter (like Audi, for instance), I was expecting to see and hear more about “Olympic” brands with the digging I’m doing on Squawq. Unfortunately, save for the few broadcasters referenced on Day 1, the daily Squawq reports are not pulling up any brands on the hashtag or keyword reports. Takeaway: People may not care so much about brands as they’re tweeting with friends about the great news of Shaun White’s gold medal McTwist. But per the work done by CMB and NBC, they are nevertheless absorbing the fact that Shaun–and indeed the Games themselves–are made possible thanks to the financial support of some major corporations.