Every two years we look forward to the best Olympic ads, and every year “Rule 40” threatens the creative reach of advertisers and athlete sponsors. It boils down to this: From July 27, 2016 to August 24, 2016 no competitor, coach, trainer, or official who participates in the Olympics may allow their name, image, or likeness to be used for advertising purposes.
This year, however, there’s a silver lining. Unofficial sponsors and brands who launched campaigns prior to the marketing blackout period can continue to run their ads through the Olympics … they just can’t mention the Olympics. This means brands have to get a little creative with their campaigns and we get to enjoy the results! Here are a few ads (so far) that give us all the Olympic feels, without a direct call out to the gold-medal machine. How do you get creative with your marketing?
Under Armour | Rule Yourself | Michael Phelps Under Armour isn’t an official Olympic sponsor, but they are the sponsor of more than 250 Olympic athletes, including a semi-famous guy you know as Michael Phelps. This ad won them a Cannes Lion Award and a lot of positive press.
Gatorade | The Boy Who Learned to Fly | Usain Bolt If you’re a fan of Chipotle’s haunting animated shorts, you’ll love this new spot from Gatorade. The same company who brought you Chipotle’s “The Scarecrow” is back with “The Boy Who Learned to Fly” an origin story of the whiplash-inducing, record-breaking sprinter from Jamaica. The branding is subtle and the messaging is strong: Gatorade does it all for the love of sports.
Samsung | The Anthem O.K., Samsung is actually a sponsor of this year’s games, but you’ll find no mention of the Olympics in this spot. Ordinary people and athletes around the world hold Samsung Galaxy S7 phones as they each record refrains from their respective national anthems. A simple tagline at the end is literal music to this copywriter’s ears, “Proud sponsor of a world without barriers.”
Under Armour | Rule Yourself | USA Women’s Gymnastics The unofficial star of every Olympics? It’s got to be the women’s gymnastics team. Under Armour capitalizes on the public’s fascination with these strong women in their latest string of inspiring Olympic ads. The result is a satisfying 90 seconds packed with more muscles than we knew existed and a simple tagline, “It’s What You Do In the Dark.”
GoPro | Finding Missy | Missy Franklin We had to give fellow Coloradan and Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin a special shout! This GoPro mini-series follows Missy as she escapes the Colorado cold to train in Hawaii. The series uses GoPro as the candid lense through which we see a young swimmer’s race to the end of the pool, and the support system it takes to get her there. It also makes you rethink what you were doing at 20 years old.
Keeping up with our favorite brands isn’t all we’re doing to prep for the Olympics. Check out our Olympic Brandfolder here, packed with each country’s flag, this year’s logos, and more. It’s full of all of the resources you need to outfit your social media channels, just in time for the games.
Stop jumping through Olympic hoops with your brand assets. Find out how Brandfolder can help!