Claire Beale on advertising: BT connects but Volt's pure gold for Nike

 

Who won the commercial Olympics? We already know, thanks to research from GfK, that the hoped-for Olympic boost to consumer confidence never materialised, or if it did it was overshadowed by the darkening clouds of the weather and the economy. GfK's consumer confidence index remained at -29 in August; it's never been so low for so long.

But there is good news for some of those brands that have spent millions hooking their fortunes to the Games. The big advertising winner is BT, the Olympic sponsor which has leveraged its association with the event most successfully. BT's commercial, with its flatmates descended upon by a bevy of Spanish senoritas looking for a fast broadband connection, was 36 per cent more likely to be remembered than the average Olympic-themed ad.

And the commercial, by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, was 25 per cent more liked than the average ad from an Olympic sponsor, according to a study by researcher Nielsen.

BT also won the professional's vote, with politicians and business leaders naming it as the company that made the biggest corporate contribution to the Games through its provision of fixed telephone lines, SIM cards and wifi access. Yet it was David Beckham who got viewers most excited; his commercial for Samsung, by the ad agency Cheil, was considered the most appealing of all the ads from the Olympic sponsors.

But for all the millions spent by big brands like BT, Samsung, McDonald's and Coca-Cola on sponsoring and advertising around the Olympics, perhaps the freshest and most exciting marketing initiative came from a brand that had no licence to be involved with the Games at all.

Nike wasn't a sponsor and wasn't allowed to use any Olympic references in its advertising. No matter; Nike didn't need advertising or official status in order to make one of the biggest branding impacts at the event.

Painting its Flyknit shoe a luminous yellowy green, called Volt, was a marketing master stroke. Over 400 Olympic athletes, including Mo Farah, wore the shoe for their events, giving Nike incredible stand-out at the Games (apparently Volt is the most visible colour to the human eye) and integrating the brand right into the heart of sporting excellence.

So as BT takes its place on the official winners podium, Nike has won itself a gold in ambush marketing.

Claire Beale is editor of 'Campaign'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operations Manager

£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there