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Marketers' Road to the 2016 Olympics

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If you're working with any major brand, then the Olympics is one of the most significant marketing investments you'll make. Here are more than a dozen trends marketers need to plan around if they want to be relevant come the summer of 2016, along with some highlights of Olympics marketing in 2012 and 2014.

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Marketers' Road to the 2016 Olympics

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  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS • About this report • 13 trends for Rio 2016 • Great moments in Olympics digital marketing • Contact us
  3. 3. ABOUT THIS REPORT Training for the Olympics takes years of preparation, dedication, and motivation. What’s true for athletes is also true for marketers. The next Olympics always seems to come along faster than expected, and marketers can’t prepare early enough. For dozens of major brands, the Olympics is one of the most significant marketing investments they make. For brands that don’t have the rights to the Olympic rings, many will still be looking for ways to compete aggressively for attention during the games, and in the months leading up to the event. The Olympic Games – especially the Summer Olympics – remains one of the most unifying global ‘water cooler moments,’ where a single topic dominates global conversations for weeks. That’s why we paved the Marketers’ Road to the Olympics. Included here are more than a dozen trends marketers need to plan around if they want to be relevant come the summer of 2016. These span the immediately applicable fundamentals of social media to a future rife with artificial intelligence and drones. Following these trends are several highlights of Olympics digital marketing from 2012 and 2014, so we can learn from previous triumphs. We welcome your thoughts and feedback, and hearing about your plans for 2016. With the competition for share of voice ahead, may the odds be ever in your favor. Wait, wrong contest. Make that: Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger). - Team MRY
  4. 4. 13 TRENDS AT A GLANCE 1. The Second Summer (Olympics) of Social 2. The Wisdom of Connecting Crowds 3. Goodbye Storytelling, Hello Storymaking 4. Private Social is the New Norm for Sharing 5. Silicon Panda 6. No Wonder, Woman 7. First Screen, Meet Second Screen and the Extended Family 8. APIs Just Wanna Be Friends 9. The Dawn of the Interpretation Age 10. Droning Onwards and Upwards 11. The Death of the Wallet 12. One HAL of an Olympics 13. Virtual Reality, for Real
  5. 5. THE SECOND SUMMER (OLYMPICS) OF SOCIAL The 2012 London Olympics were properly deemed as the world's first social media Olympics. In 2014, a Sochi Games spokeswoman reported that they saw more than 10,000 tweets per minute during the opening ceremony. Now, headed into 2016, we can only expect things to get bigger, better, and more creative on social. Begin by covering off on your social media to-do list heading into Rio. Review your main platforms, determine a plan, and build for the future. You do not want to wake up on August 1, 2016 realizing you need to rush to get your social profiles up to par. You will also have to pay far more last-minute to build an audience. Social media also offers an effective way for brands that are not official sponsors to get in on the Olympic conversation via a tactic called Ambush Marketing. Ambush Marketing has long been an unofficial Olympic tradition, and even actively discouraged by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but this has not stopped brands from doing it. For example, although Adidas paid $60 million to be an official sponsor, Nike made a bigger splash in 2012 with their #findgreatness campaign celebrating everyday athletes (see more about that in the “Great Moments in Olympics Digital Marketing” section below).
  6. 6. Teens in 52 countries around the globe used their social feeds to create 3.5 million personalized versions of producer Mark Robson’s Olympic anthem “Anywhere in the World” in Coca-Cola’s “Move to the Beat of London” campaign. G O L D M E D A L I S T
  7. 7. THE WISDOM OF CONNECTING CROWDS You can turn your home into a hotel room, your car into a taxi, a few free hours into a messenger business, or a photography hobby into a rights licensing operation. Whether people are seeking a part-time or full-time job, supplemental income, or some degree of fame, there are marketplaces to pool just about any talent or asset and turn it into at least a nominally viable business. This is the crowd economy, where hard goods can be shared and services can be performed by anyone who is deemed to be trustworthy. Jeremiah Owyang’s Crowd Companies reported that collaborative economy companies have attracted $8 billion in funding over the past decade, with about half of that coming in 2014. Brands are increasingly going to discover that they must find ways to partner with such marketplaces rather than try to ignore or obstruct them.
  8. 8. U-Haul created the Investors Club to crowd fund its equipment, giving customers and supporters a way to directly support and profit from its business. Surprising examples abound of established brands giving more people a stake in their success. G O L D M E D A L I S T
  9. 9. GOODBYE STORYTELLING, HELLO STORYMAKING Conversations about the Olympics can be predictable – the media landscape is dominated by stories of record-breaking, drama-filled, superhuman feats of athletic prowess. With social media, however, the Olympics conversation has changed. People want to see a little piece of themselves in every athlete’s story, which gives brands the opportunity to transform unbelievable or unrelatable moments into shareable ones. Marketers that focus on the human element of the games – how each of us is motivated by the same basic passion and drive to achieve our goals – give fans a way to be a part of the athletes’ winning moments and thus engage with the brand in a unique way. At MRY, we call this storymaking. While storytelling is a one-way street, storymaking facilitates and taps into the stories that people are creating and sharing with each other. This can be as simple as a daily interaction with a product, or as awe-inspiring as an Olympic victory; the key is that it puts the consumer at the center of a branded story, and thus taps into a deeper emotional meaning.
  10. 10. G O L D M E D A L I S T Visa led US advertisers in social engagement during the Sochi Olympics, and timely content married with storymaking was a big reason why. The Team Visa Mosaic encouraged fans to send their congratulatory messages to athletes, and fans’ avatars became part of the celebratory mosaic. G O L D M E D A L I S T
  11. 11. PRIVATE SOCIAL IS THE NEW NORM FOR SHARING So many of the fastest growing apps are messaging apps where people are sharing posts constantly, but most sharing is private to select individuals and groups. These private conversations can’t be readily tracked, and these consumers don’t want to be monitored and targeted. As a few of these apps cross the billion-user mark in 2016 and others keep scaling fast, marketers will have to find new creative ways to reach such elusive audiences. App developers are trying to meet marketer demand. In Asia, Line offers up several cute and creative ways for brands to become part of the apps content. Silicon Valley’s Snapchat, meanwhile, has come up with bold offerings in the US that allow brands to sponsor content from major publishers. The most important assets for marketers in 2016 will be the athletes themselves. After all, chat apps are all about people connecting to each other, so this is a prime opportunity for brands to get personal and become part of the content that athletes share.
  12. 12. G O L D M E D A L I S T McDonald’s has promoted Snapchat heavily through other social channels to feature exclusive footage of its athletes (this judging is a bit biased, coming from a certain agency which was the first business to accept payments through Snapchat). G O L D M E D A L I S T G O L D M E D A L I S T
  13. 13. SILICON PANDA Increasingly, the market leaders in every field, from social media to e-commerce to search engines, are (or will be) Chinese properties. E-commerce company Alibaba claimed the title for largest global IPO ever in September of 2014. Facebook needed to go all over the world, except China, to hit 1 billion users, but China’s Tencent/QQ can do that within its own borders. Clearly, there’s a reason Mark Zuckerberg revealed that he has become fluent in Mandarin. In 2015, more than 680 million people in China will be online – 2.5 times the number of people in the United States. It is no surprise then that other technologies bubbling up in the Far East are further defining subsequent developments on global shores. If your brands are in China, Chinese fans following the Olympics through social and mobile apps will want to cheer for their home team right along with you.
  14. 14. China’s WeChat app is partnering with Buzzfeed to give chatters some content to snack on between sending and receiving messages; expect brand integrations to follow. (See more in the trend “Peekaboo: Privately Social is the New Norm for Sharing”) Gold Medalist China’s WeChat app is partnering with Buzzfeed to give chatters some content to snack on between sending and receiving messages; expect brand integrations to follow. (See more in the previous trend, “Private Social is the New Norm for Sharing”) G O L D M E D A L I S T G O L D M E D A L I S T
  15. 15. NO WONDER, WOMAN There’s a reason why Under Armour was named Ad Age’s 2014 Marketer of the Year: its “I Will What I Want” campaign, a self-proclaimed “woman-a-festo,” is the latest, and perhaps most successful, embodiment of the growing female empowerment movement in advertising. Featuring “female athletes and athletic females” using spokeswomen ranging from ballerina Misty Copeland to supermodel Gisele Bundchen, the campaign provides an inspirational look at the power of women to achieve their goals in a world of barriers and stigmas. Brands are finding that campaigns that empower girls and women instead of perpetuating stereotypes are proving to be popular, not to mention effective at generating sales. For example, sales of Dove grew from $2.5 billion to $4 billion since the launch of their “Real Beauty” campaign, which includes the now famous "Real Beauty Sketches." This growth in sales should be no surprise given that 52% of respondents in a recent SheKnows study had purchased a product because they liked the way that the ads portrayed women, with 56% of those respondents being in the key millennial demographic. The inspiring nature of the Olympics provides a perfect backdrop for brands to continue taking advantage of this trend, but marketers must be careful to do so in an authentic matter. There’s a thin line between empowering and exploitative.
  16. 16. Under Armour and P&G’s Always "Like a Girl" video takes on the question, “when did doing something ‘like a girl’ become an insult?” Gold Medalist P&G’s Always "Like a Girl" video takes on the question, “When did doing something ‘like a girl’ become an insult?” Viewed more than 50 million times with 9x as many likes as dislikes, it got further attention as the brand’s Super Bowl spot in 2015. G O L D M E D A L I S T G O L D M E D A L I S T
  17. 17. FIRST SCREEN, MEET SECOND SCREEN AND THE EXTENDED FAMILY As connected devices proliferate, creating more challenges for marketers to track consumers, marketers are getting help thanks to the rapidly innovating field of cross-device targeting, which aims to identify the same consumer regardless of which gadget they’re using. When done well, it helps marketers accomplish a range of goals, from more accurate frequency capping to more holistic messaging. There are two primary ways to do this. One is through technology solutions such as Tapad and Drawbridge which developed algorithms to determine when the same person is using various devices. Another is through media companies like Google and Facebook that know which users are signed in not just to their sites, but to any site using their logins. During the Rio Olympics, when people will be watching games and reading updates across several devices spanning home, work, school, and elsewhere, effectively identifying and reaching the right people will be more important than ever. It will be essential for marketers to adapt experiences to different screens, as consumers behave differently with media they encounter on a TV versus a laptop, smartphone, or smartwatch.
  18. 18. Dell worked with Tapad to identify connected TV viewers, which it knew were early adopters and then targeted consumers on smartphones. This led to a 68% engagement lift and double the number of page views when people saw Dell’s ads across TVs and smartphones Gold Medalist Dell worked with Tapad to identify connected TV viewers (fitting Dell’s target of early adopters), and then targeted those consumers on smartphones. This led to a 68% engagement lift and double the number of pageviews when people saw Dell’s ads across TVs and smartphones G O L D M E D A L I S T G O L D M E D A L I S T
  19. 19. APIs JUST WANNA BE FRIENDS Steve Jobs once said, “Creativity is just connecting things.” Fortunately for marketers, there are many more things to connect when it comes to technology, thanks to APIs. The techie acronym means “application program interface,” and it refers to any kind of technology that allows others to build on it. Consider Google integrating Uber into Google Maps (while Maps itself has APIs), or Weather Underground’s API for adding forecasts to travel or sports apps. Brands can mash up existing platforms to create new experiences. Coca-Cola, for example, launched an app called Placelists that tapped into Facebook and Spotify to allow people to create music playlists for any location. It’s now possible to imagine what you want to build, discover which technologies address elements of it, and figure out how to fuse them together to create a new experience that fits your brief.
  20. 20. Mercedes-Benz synced up its cars to Nest thermostats (owned by Google) to have your home adjust the temperature for you as you’re driving home so it feels just right by the time you walk in the door. Gold Medalist Mercedes-Benz synced up its cars to Nest thermostats (owned by Google). That allows people who own both a Mercedes and a Nest to have their home adjust the temperature as they’re driving home, so it feels just right by the time they walk in the door. G O L D M E D A L I S T G O L D M E D A L I S T
  21. 21. THE DAWN OF THE INTERPRETATION AGE Every day, 2.3 trillion gigabytes of data is created. Big data keeps getting bigger, and the Information Age has transformed into the Information Overload age. Part of this is being fueled by the pervasiveness of social media and the rise of mobile as the first screen. Then there are emerging fields such as beacons in stores, connected appliances at home, and wearable technologies. All contribute to the data glut. Now, the quest for brands and product manufacturers must shift from merely amassing data to interpreting it. This is where brands have an advantage, as successful brands are those that can change consumer preferences and behavior. Brands can tap into this data to create experiences that move people. Technology companies are focused on this as well. For instance, the Pavlok, which raised $269,000 for its Indiegogo campaign (more than five times its goal) is a wristband that shocks people when they miss self- improvement goals, such as spending too long on Facebook or walking into a fast food restaurant. Marketers can be the ones to tap into all that data and steer consumers toward their brands’ recommendations.
  22. 22. In April 2011, Walmart acquired the startup Kosmix and created a new research arm, @WalmartLabs. Achievements from @WalmartLabs include launching a new search engine for Walmart.com dubbed Polaris, ranking results based on social signals – one of several ways Walmart is interpreting data in new ways to benefit its consumers and its own bottom line. G O L D M E D A L I S T In April 2011, Walmart acquired the startup Kosmix and created a new research arm, @WalmartLabs. Achievements from @WalmartLabs include launching a new search engine for Walmart.com dubbed Polaris, ranking results based on social signals. G O L D M E D A L I S T G O L D M E D A L I S T
  23. 23. DRONING ONWARDS AND UPWARDS 2016 could be the first drone-powered Olympics. Drones can give people intimate, riveting shots of all the action, as well as of the athletes themselves. Depending on what local laws and International Olympic Committee rules permit, perhaps some contenders will even use them to take selfies in the Olympic Village or get meat skewers delivered from a drone- powered churrascaria. There will be plenty of opportunities for first-mover advantages when it comes to drones, especially for experiences at live events, and possibly in stores. Caution is warranted, as it’s possible for drones to cause mishaps, such as when a mistletoe-bearing drone at a Brooklyn T.G.I. Friday’s chipped off a piece of someone’s nose. Gaffes and minor injuries aside, drones can be used to add sweeping cinematography to branded video shoots or deliver surprises from the skies wherever consumers are gathering. New technologies are also rolling out to give drones a better sense of awareness as to where obstacles and other drones are. Start posting job openings for drone pilots today, and prepare for when drones take over your workplace as well.
  24. 24. The gold and the Lion goes to Twitter for its @Dronie account which posted Vine selfies shot by drones at the Cannes Lions in 2014. The kickoff dronie starring Patrick Stewart has tallied more than 700,000 Vine loops. Gold Medalist The Gold and the Lion goes to Twitter for its @Dronie account which posted Vine selfies shot by drones at the Cannes Lions in 2014. The kickoff Dronie starring Patrick Stewart has tallied more than 700,000 Vine loops. G O L D M E D A L I S T G O L D M E D A L I S T
  25. 25. THE DEATH OF THE WALLET According to Mashable, purchases made using a smartphone or tablet rose 48% year- over year to $8 billion during the second quarter of 2014, and it is estimated that by 2020 mobile commerce will account for more than 75% of the world’s online transactions and more than 50% of spend. With this frictionless way to pay, we can now envision the day when wallets are completely obsolete. Apple Pay popularized the phenomenon, making the future of mobile payments seem far more accessible to present-day smartphone users. The potential for marketers to use this technology is limitless. It can be as simple as offering an easier way to pay at the point of sale. A more advanced case would be enabling beacon technology to send personalized, location-specific promotions to consumers using mobile payments. Opportunities should abound in 2016 in Brazil, dubbed “the country to watch for mobile payments” by PaymentsSource, and also in the US as Apple Pay and its rivals become more widespread.
  26. 26. Starbucks has reported that their mobile app, which combines mobile payments with the loyalty program Starbucks Rewards, has nearly 12 million active users. CEO Howard Schultz reported that transactions from the app brought in more than 15% of U.S. sales in Q3. Gold Medalist Starbucks has reported that their mobile app, which combines mobile payments with the loyalty program Starbucks Rewards, has about 12 million active users. CEO Howard Schultz said that transactions from the app brought in more than 15% of U.S. sales in Q3 2014. G O L D M E D A L I S T G O L D M E D A L I S T
  27. 27. 2014’s Lollapalooza festival-goers were outfitted with wristbands that served as cardless payment systems for purchases made during the show. Silver Medalist 2014’s Lollapalooza festival-goers were outfitted with wristbands that served as cardless payment systems for purchases made during the show. Even wristbands could make wallets obsolete. S I LV E R M E D A L I S T S I LV E R M E D A L I S T
  28. 28. ONE HAL OF AN OLYMPICS Media and technology are getting smarter – literally – as artificial intelligence becomes more accessible and pervasive. IBM popularized this with Watson, which along with beating Jeopardy champions and solving real-world problems has also recommended food pairings out of a South by Southwest food truck (IBM calls this “Cognitive Cooking”). Brands are becoming more comfortable with letting robots do some of their own jobs, as the rise of programmatic media has shown. Meanwhile, Amazon has an army of Kiva robots supporting human workers, though one wonders how long it will be before robots run those warehouses by themselves. As for consumer-facing applications, brands can start with any recommendation engine, from financial services products to car configurations, and adapt those to proactively make recommendations tailored to individuals.
  29. 29. Domino’s gave its mobile apps some Siri- ous personality by adding the voice- powered virtual assistant Dom to help people order pizzas. Artificial intelligence hardly needs to be reserved for rocket scientists; recommending pizza toppings still meets consumers’ needs. Gold Medalist Domino’s gave its mobile apps some Siri-ous personality by adding the voice-powered virtual assistant Dom to help people order pizzas. Artificial intelligence hardly needs to be reserved for rocket scientists; recommending pizza toppings still meets consumers’ needs. G O L D M E D A L I S T G O L D M E D A L I S T
  30. 30. VIRTUAL REALITY, FOR REAL Popular Science just named 2015 the year virtual reality reaches living rooms. By 2016, with the hardware finally in the hands of more consumers, virtual reality should be a major consideration for marketers, and it’s even estimated that augmented-reality hardware will generate $1.06 billion in revenue globally by 2018. Brands like Coca-Cola, HBO and Nissan are already betting on virtual reality as the next big thing, and social media giants like Facebook are taking notice, too, as evident in their decision to buy Oculus Rift for $2 billion. Now, it isn’t too far-fetched to imagine watching Usain Bolt win another gold medal from the sidelines of the Olympic stadium, just by putting on a pair of goggles.
  31. 31. Coca-Cola staged a World Cup VR experience where fans were able to move from a real-life replica of a locker room at Maracanã Stadium to the pitch by putting on an Oculus Rift headset, experiencing the thrill of competing in the world cup from the point-of-view of the players. Gold Medalist Coca-Cola staged a World Cup virtual reality experience where fans were able to move from a real-life replica of a locker room at Maracanã Stadium to the pitch by putting on an Oculus Rift headset, experiencing the thrill of competing in the World Cup from the point- of-view of the players. In 2016, brands will need to figure out how to scale such experiences. G O L D M E D A L I S T G O L D M E D A L I S T
  32. 32. P&G: THANK YOU, MOM P&G’s “Thank You, Mom” campaign captured the support of Olympians’ mothers all around the world in the form of childhood flashbacks. The brand entered the conversation by telling a story about mothers helping their children succeed; this was universally relatable, no matter what country the fan was rooting for. They also pushed the #becauseofmom hashtag to encourage sharing. “Thank You, Mom” campaign went beyond TV in 2012 by launching on Facebook where users could upload family photos and write messages of thanks to their mothers, adding a personal twist to the campaign that already had people connecting with the athletes on a deeper level.
  33. 33. MINI COOPER: WIN SMALL Mini Cooper’s “Win Small” campaign in London 2012 capitalized on its cars’ perceived weakness – their size – to create a strong point of messaging: all dreams are valid, no matter what size they are OR what size the dreamer is. They also paired this campaign with an activation on the field using extra-mini remote-control MINIs that drove discuses, javelins, and other gear back to the throwing area. This campaign was successful because people could empathize with the message of succeeding despite hardship.
  34. 34. COVERGIRL: #GIRLSCAN Even though Covergirl’s #GirlsCan campaign debuted during the Closing Ceremonies of the Sochi games, the brand’s female-empowerment position made the makeup brand relatable in the Olympics space. The spots featured female celebrities like Pink, Ellen and Queen Latifah discussing the hardships they overcame, all while hearing “girls can’t.” The brand also announced Olympics Covergirls including Gracie Gold (USA) and Tessa Virtue (Canada).
  35. 35. NIKE: FIND YOUR GREATNESS Nike wasn’t the official sportswear sponsor of the 2012 London Olympics (Adidas was), but they gained attention by promoting “greatness” at locations all around the world that had “London” in the name, including Ohio, South Africa and Norway. Their success came without the costly investment (or legalities) of a sponsorship, which allowed for additional creative and legal freedom, even if they couldn’t claim to officially support the US team or global competition.
  36. 36. CADILLAC: ATS VS THE WORLD Cadillac’s "ATS vs. The World” campaign wasn’t altogether special in 2012; it showed the automobiles driving in certain conditions all around the world. What made this campaign great was its strategic placement – after showing their commercial at the Opening Ceremony, it saw an increase in shopping by 474% over the weekend. From there, the auto brand sprinkled in commercials throughout the rest of the games, and it effectively stuck in everyone’s mind.
  37. 37. David Berkowitz Chief Marketing Officer david.berkowitz@mry.com Evan Kraut Chief Growth Officer evan.kraut@mry.com Share, email or call us with questions or comments, or visit us at mry.com/Olympics

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