The Race to London 2012

In the UK this year, British people are either excited or upset about the London 2012 Olympic games. To some, it is the opportunity of a lifetime to see their city on a world stage with all the opportunities for the regeneration of East London that the infrastructure is creating – to others it is a waste of money and already way over budget.

But to companies marketing their services, it is a dream. Many companies have become official sponsors and the Olympic organising committee will be working hard to ensure they get all the attention during the games – rather than some of the guerrilla marketing we saw at the last FIFA World Cup.

This is also going to be the first truly social media Olympics – Beijing was only 4 years ago, but smartphone penetration was not so high in China in 2008. Can you just imagine how many photos are going to instantly loaded online when the 100m final takes place in London? We are in a new era of sharing information.

This emphasis on the social aspect of the games is crossing over into the marketing that sponsors are undertaking. British Airways is launching their new advert on Facebook first this morning. It will transfer to Google+ soon after and then many hours later it will be aired on TV during the ITV broadcast of Coronation Street.

The new ad is themed on the games, with a British bag racing those from other nations to get to the luggage belt first – a nice idea – but it’s exciting and worth nothing that millions will probably see this ad before it is ever shown on TV.

I have talked a lot on this blog about the way customer service is going to move increasingly online this year. If this approach to advertising starts setting a precedent then getting interesting promotional videos into Facebook will be a lot more important soon for brands than paying for a TV slot in the middle of a soap.

British Skies
  Photo by Luis Argerich licensed under Creative Commons

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