Don’t believe the hype. The ‘corporate takeover’ of the Olympics never happened. Or, at least if it did then nobody noticed.
We’ve been running tracking research with Marketing since the Olympics began and it suggests that the billions spent by corporate sponsors hardly dented the public consciousness.
On the 11th July, over half the population (54 per cent) couldn’t confidently name a single official sponsor and by the end of the Games this had fallen, but barely within the margin of error (49 per cent).
So what does this tell us about Olympic legacy as we approach 2013?
Well, for starters, it doesn’t look like the Olympics was the ‘golden bullet’ for sponsors’ brand awareness.
Where brand campaigns did cut through, there tended to be a strong existing brand affinity and a multi-million star endorsement to sex things up (witness Adidas/Beckham with #takethestage).
The real success story was the athletes’ individual profiles, which were super-charged by social media. You can expect to see big brands take steps to capitalize on this in the next few months– as the FT recently predicted.
But overall the Olympics didn’t change the marketing script: if you really want consumers to engage with your brand, you can no longer just badge an event, sit back and hope the punters will come to you – even if that event is as big as the Olympics.