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  • Writer's pictureLive Oak Management

More than Just an Ad: 2018 Winter Olympics

Written by: Account Executive, Maggie Cornejo

There are 13 official Olympic sponsors this year, including Bridgestone, Samsung, and Visa. This year, the Games are especially prioritizing diversity and inclusivity and each company has the special chance to promote their brand values to a major audience.

Bridgestone, a tire and rubber company based in the UK, has launched a campaign called “Chase Your Dream” to “motivate all people to strive.” Philip Dobbs, CMO for Bridgestone, says the company “knows brand awareness and reputation are determining factors in brand preference and choice for consumers, and the Olympics offer a powerful platform for quality engagements with consumers.” Bridgestone’s strategy of telling athletes’ stories is especially compelling. It has selected three Olympians with stories of overcoming adversity to sponsor their brand. Charley Hull, one of Bridgestone’s ambassadors, picked up a golf club at age 2 and then at age 16, she was ranked 3rd in World Amateur Golf. She had to fight misogyny in the male-dominated sport of golf. “There are times when you see women aren’t getting the same treatment as men and it’s a shame,” Hull said.

Samsung’s campaign is called “Do What You Can’t” and supports overcoming barriers to achieve dreams. Samsung is using the games to support inclusivity and is sponsoring Chloe Kim, a first-generation Korean American snowboarder who immigrated to the U.S. at a young age, as well as Gus Kenworthy, a skier who is competing in the Olympics after coming out as gay.

Proctor and Gamble’s “Love over Bias” campaign focuses on diversity. Its “Thank you, Mom" commercial shows how a mother helps her children overcome the world's biases and shows moms’ crucial roles in helping their children pursue their dreams.

P&G’s campaign slogan says: "Just imagine what the world could be if we all saw each other through a mom’s eyes." P&G’s focus on millennials and mothers makes its campaign relatable for many watchers. In a span of about 90 seconds, P&G was able to focus in on overcoming cultural, racial, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic barriers.

P&G has seen great success through their product sales and Olympic athletes even find their campaign close to heart. Michelle Kwan, two-time Olympics medalist said that “The ‘Love Over Bias’ film reminded her “so much of the journey my mum and I shared on my path to reaching the Olympic Games. We didn’t have all the resources that some of my competitors had, but we made the most of our opportunities and got through it together."

All of these campaigns show how marketers have to seek to understand their target audience and to truly connect with their audience, they have to understand cultural differences and the importance of diversity. Diverse advertising is needed for a diverse society. Diversity is not limited to race, as these campaigns show. Diversity means the inclusion of people of all races, ages, genders, and sexual orientations. When brands aim to represent inclusion in their campaigns, consumer support will be evident.

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