Olympic Marketing Trends: Gold Medal Strategies

When it comes to Olympic marketing trends, there have been a few consistent themes that both the media coverage and advertisers have focused on: features with world famous athletes doing amazing things and telling stories of triumphs over adversity. The media coverage and commercials have continued their drive to hit you emotionally with stories of personal achievements, defeat, and everything in between. Being an Olympics junkie, I have been watching almost non-stop since the opening ceremonies. There isn’t any event that I won’t watch, and I absolutely love hearing the stories of how athletes became Olympians.

Since I’ve been watching so much coverage, I also have watched many commercials. While there are commercials that hit on the same notes, there has been a definite shift in messaging in both the coverage and advertising.

Here are a few marketing trends from this year’s Olympic games and how you can apply them your marketing strategies.

Tell Your Story

With over 11,000 athletes competing, there is no shortage of compelling stories to share about their journeys. They may be the only competitor from their country, forced into exile, training with subpar or no equipment, etc. The campaign from the IOC, “What Agnes Saw,” shares the story of the oldest-living Olympian and connects the past to future generations. This makes for compelling stories that create an emotional connection between us and the athletes.  At Chartwell, we always encourage organizations to find creative ways to share their stories. Figure out what makes you unique and develop interesting ways to share that information.

Consider Diversity and Inclusivity

This last year saw an exponential rise in ads promoting diversity and inclusivity. The commercials during the Olympics have proved to be no exception. With ads like “Start Your Impossible” and “People Who See the World Differently,” we see more people like us. There has been an increase in the use of Paralympians in ads as well as more diversity in the representation in commercials. Consumers want to support companies that serve people like them. Consider who your audiences are and make sure they are represented in your marketing strategies.

Be Ready to Adapt

If we have learned anything from the pandemic, it is the need to adapt. Marketing strategies do not happen overnight. They take months and even years to plan out. When the games were postponed for a year, advertisers made changes to the campaigns they had already invested millions into. Some went ahead and pushed them out last summer, while others chose to wait until this year. Along with the decision when to implement their campaigns, they also had to adapt them to the changes in the socio-political environment that has evolved. Just like the athletes had to change their training regimens, be ready to make changes to your marketing strategies. Make time to regularly review what is and is not working and determine if you need to update your plan.

This year’s Olympic marketing trends of sharing your story, prioritizing diversity and inclusivity, and being adaptable can help your organization create a gold medal marketing strategy. If you’re not sure where to start, Chartwell can help.