social media marketing

Olympic athletes marketing impact through social media banned 2014 Sochi games.

The first big story of the Olympics wasn’t the first gold medal winners or the underlying human rights violations but more prevalent is the hash tag #sochiproblems. As the mass majority of the worlds athletes and journalists traveled to Sochi they began to find issues as unfit amenities such as questionable toilets and yellow murky tap water in the Olympic village. The hastag quickly became popular and became a Twitter account. The account @SochiProblems has grown to 340,000 followers which makes that 120,000 more followers than the actual @Sochi2014 account.

One reason why @SochiProblems might have had such a large and quick following is because the International Olympic Committee banned on athletes and other accredited personnel from posting videos or audio of events, and competitions taking place at Olympic Venues or the Olympic Village. Also participants are allowed to post content and photos, however the IOC requires that all posts must be in first-person, diary-type format. These social media restraints are put in place for only allowing participants to communicate with friends and family and supporters, but not for commercial and advertising for possible sponsors.

The Olympics are the biggest stage for any athlete and for most, it is their time to stand out, market, and brand themselves. Social media is being used and managed to limit athletes ability to brand and sponsor themselves. We can see success in the Olympics gives participants overnight followers and in turn, future sponsors. Sage Kotesenburg is an example of having gained 43,000 followers since winning the games first gold medal in snowboarding. That’s not too bad for a kid from Park City, Utah that has been riding and snowboarding for all his life now, having the exposure and following to attract large sponsors. Also athletes that have sponsorships are not allowed to post about brands unless they have been approved by the IOC.

My opinion on the social media banned for athletes is that they should be able to further themselves, their legacy, and build their brand because there is no better time to market themselves. The social media ban was initially to limit athletes talking “smack” and for talking bad about the conditions in Sochi. However I feel with the creation and popularity of #sochiproblems the media ban was less effective and ultimately hindered athletes ability to have sponsors and market themselves.

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Sponsoring an Olympics seems like a no brainer, right?

Social Media, Twitter #SochiProblems

Social Media, Twitter #SochiProblems

Being a sponsor for the Olympics seems like a no brainer. In 2012, Budweiser hosted a party and it was a hit! The U.S. men’s basketball team was on the dance floor dancing to Queen’s, “We will Rock You.”  CBS released an article stating the controversy that sponsors are facing. They said, “Several factors are casting a shadow across the Winter Olympics before the games have even began, from terrorism fears to anger over the country’s anti-gay laws.” Journalist from CBS complained about the undrinkable water and the wild dogs that are roaming the streets of Sochi. Most sponsors are staying on the sidelines with the disputes over Russia’s anti-LGBT and other human right issues. Sponsors are not sure that they want to be associated with all the problems. As the problems have become more prevalent, there has been a hashtag sent out using #SochiProblems. Being a sponsor for the Olympics is a huge investment, costing companies around $20 million dollars. Coca-Cola and Chobani are running into controversy’s regarding Sochi. Coca-Cola is struggling with the Russian culture, because their Super Bowl ad features a gay family and Russia has a law forbidding gay-right. Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University said,” Well, this is all just a terribly awkward situation for the sponsors.” Chobani on the other hand, is struggling with getting their products to Russia. Chobani sent over 5,000 cups of their Greek yogurt but Sochi said that they did not receive the paperwork from the U.S. that it requires.

#SochiProblems has taken off as a trending topic on twitter.  #SochiProblems already has 337,000 followers and still counting.  This account is showing its followers the baffling photos found in hotel rooms, and the 15 feet deep manholes on the streets of Sochi. One reporter tweeted pictures of light fixtures in his hotel room falling from the ceiling. This twitter page also talks about the fifth Olympic ring mishap during the opening ceremony. JonnyQuinn, a member of the U.S. four-man bobsled team was trapped in a bathroom with no phone or way to call for help. He had to smash the door open and posted the photo on twitter.

Needless to say, Sochi has been an Olympics we will never forget.

Visa Takes Gold at Sochi 2014

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Visa took home gold when it came to advertising during the Sochi Olympics.  Visa became the first sponsor to use paid search to drive visitors to its Tumblr account.  The ads have appeared on both Google and the Yahoo Bing Network.  According to YouGov BrandIndex. Visa was consistently included in Twitter’s daily “most-shared Olympic images.”  Visa had 15 images featured, which accounted for more than 50,000 retweets and 75,000 favorites.  It’s no wonder Visa took gold when it came to advertising.

Visa has been a sponsor of the Olympic Movement for more than 27 years, according to Kevin Burke, Visa Chief Marketing Officer.  According to Burke “For the Sochi Olympic Winter Games, we used that platform to launch and showcase our new brand repositioning, ‘Everywhere You Want to Be,'” he says. “(The Campaign) ties together our proud history with the Olympic Games to the endless possibilities our brand brings for consumers, merchants, financial institutions, governments and others — all over the world.”

Visa created Team Visa Mosaic that allowed fans to participate in congratulating Meryl Davis and Charlie White on their gold medal win.  Fans could find their avatar within the image of the congratulatory message for the Olympic stars.  Visa sent out tweets to those whose avatars were selected.  The ones selected also received digital autographs from Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

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Sarah Hendrickson received a lot of attention from Visa.  Hendrickson was the featured star of the Olympic debut of the Women’s Ski Jump.  The YouTube commercial for Visa shows Hendrickson getting ready for action to the background speech of Amelia Earhart.  The YouTube commerical gave me chills as I was watching history being made right in front of my eyes.

Visa worked well in advertising during the two week Olympic Games at Sochi.  They tried to connect people to Olympic athletes and make people feel like they were part of the Olympic experience.  They tried connecting those who had no interest in the Olympics, to follow based on eye catching pictures and ads.  I feel they knocked it out of the park and really left us with images that will last a lifetime.  Did Visa take you everywhere you wanted to be during the Olympic games?

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Puffs in Tears of Joy After Their Sponsorship Duo Meryl & Charlie Win Gold

Ice dancers, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, were the talk of the Olympics.  The duo were one of the most popular athletes at the Olympics this year.

Puffs announced their sponsorship with Davis and White in the fall of 2013, and after their successful journey to the 2014 Sochi Olympics; they are most definitely a proud sponsor of the games and the medalists.

Throughout the games Puffs, Davis and White utilized social media platform, Twitter, as a way to promote the brand.  Puffs official twitter page was nonstop with tweets that cheered on Davis and White.  They tied in the emotional side of the Olympics by sending out tweets that expressed the emotional rollercoaster that the athletes and fans go through while watching.  Puffs created a hashtag, #PassThePuffs, that linked with those tweets in hopes to get it trending.

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Davis used Twitter and Instagram several times to show her support of the brand.  Product placement in social media showed them using Puffs products during their journey.

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Davis and White also incorporated their mothers into posts by tweeting and instagraming about how they had to get their own Puffs for their butterflies and tears.  Incorporating the Olympians mothers targeted Puffs large target audience, stay at home moms.

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Although Puffs have a small following on social media, the numbers went up remarkably from the amount of TV and social media time they received from the Olympics.

Puffs still continue to tweet about Davis and White success at the Olympics since their names are a household name now.  Even if fans are just following Davis and White, their retweets of the brand are still getting the name and product out to the public.  Puffs success with social media marketing alongside their sponsorship with Davis and White definitely has the brand in tears of joy, happiness and accomplishment.

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#CheersToSochi, Some People are Not “Lovin It”

There’s no doubt, we all know Russia’s views about the LGBT community, which has been clearly showcased for the 22 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. This of course has spiked a heated issue within the LGBT community where many people have openly voiced boycotting the Olympics in its entirety.

But, it hasn’t stopped there. Major sponsors of the Olympics, such as McDonald’s have gotten the wrath from individuals all over. People think the corporations support Russia’s views because they have signed on to be sponsors. That is not the case! Inevitably the companies are sponsors to help their brand, marketing and revenue on an international scale…nothing more!

Focusing specifically on McDonald’s, the corporation launched #CheersSochi on Twitter for people to write their support for those competing in the Olympics. However, this idea to boost Olympians confidence has turned into a way for people to further show their outrage about McDonald’s being a sponsor of the Olympics. The hashtag was later removed and #CheersToSochi was then created for people to continue their “hate.”

McDonald’s quickly responded to peoples’ tweets and concerns on the corporations website by saying the company support human rights and believe that the Olympics should be open to everyone without discrimination. The company also supports all those competing and wanted to use Twitter to simply inspire the athletes.

That statement, however, hasn’t stopped people using #CheersToSochi to bash the company for sponsoring the Olympics, which is also known as “hashtag hijacking.” It’s clear that peoples’ goals for their tweets are to show their distaste for what Russia stands for, in hopes to shed light into the LGBT community by using the hashtag #CheersToSochi.

In my opinion, I think McDonald’s is not at fault for anything, in fact, the company has shown its support for equality and tried to help our fellow Americans in Sochi by creating the hashtag in the first place. After McDonald’s posted the statement about equality on their website, people should have understood what the company stands for and stopped tweeting their anger. Instead, support Team USA with the hashtag!

So, I leave you, the reader, with the question, do you think McDonald’s supports Russia’s views?

[Photo Curtesy of Google Images]

[Photo Curtesy of Google Images]

[Photo Curtesy of Google Images]

[Photo Curtesy of Google Images

Coca-Cola Criticized for Social Media Campaign Banning the Word “Gay”

A lot of the social media buzz during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics surrounded LGBT issues and Russia’s anti-gay law. Sochi sponsor Coca-Cola was unable to escape that buzz.

Russia has an anti-gay law that bans pro-gay “propaganda” that could be accessible to minors. Critics say it is so restrictive that it forbids almost any public expression of support for gay rights.

Coca-Cola launched a social media campaign allowing users to type in their name or a message through their website and see it printed on a virtual Coca-Cola can, which they can then share with friends and followers on social media networks. Coca-Cola faced a big problem when users started to notice when they typed the word “gay,” Coca-Cola responded with, “Oops. Let’s pretend you didn’t just type that.” However, if users were to type the word “straight,” the website allowed them to.

The social media campaign was meant to send positive messages to Olympic athletes, cheering them on, but after Olympic gay rights activists hijacked their social media campaign for not supporting LGBT rights, Coca-Cola’s social media campaign went down the drain.

An organization called Queer Nation NY re-edited Coca-Cola’s famous 1971 commercial from singers on a hilltop called “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” to scenes of protesters in Russia being attacked  for publicly expressing gay rights.

Coca-Cola responded by uploading the commercial to Facebook and adding the comment, “Cheers to the fact that a song can top the charts and be above love, equality and happiness. #AmericaIsBeautiful.” Coca-Cola’s response played on their Super Bowl campaign, America is Beautiful and Coke is for everyone and continued with #AmericaIsBeautiful throughout the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

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Coca-Cola took a big hit with their social media campaign as did other big sponsors like McDonald’s and Visa, but I think Coca-Cola responded well to their crisis by applying their super bowl message to the Sochi Winter Olympics.

What do you think of Coca-Cola’s Sochi social media campaign and how they responded to the crisis?

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Early in the olympics a lot of the top events got a ton of media coverage. The games started on Feb. 6, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Early on was the first ever snowboarding slopestyle games. With heavy coverage going on during the final run new comer and male snow boarder Sage Kotsenburg pulled out a great run and won his first gold medal.

Most of these athletes have twitter accounts to respond to any fans asking them questions or thanking them for wishing them luck on the next run.With winning on an international field comes a little fame to it. How many followers did Sage receive after winning Olympic gold? From Feb. 5th (When preliminaries started) to Feb. 13th he had gotten 54,421 new followers (7,425-61,846)! The crazy thing is that he didn’t even receive the most followers of all Olympic athletes competing. Shaun White, one of the best snow boarders of all time received over 80,000 in the same span! He already had over a million followers to boot. And what’s crazier about all of this is that he didn’t even win his best event (half-pipe). He didn’t even medal! He got fourth and still gained all these followers.

From what I have noticed is that there might be a secret formula on how to gain followers. It is just about being yourself and if you become great at what you do, they will follow. Seriously, people like to follow winners. I do at least. These Olympics put these athletes on pinnacles because they are the best of the best and when they represent your country well and succeed everyone wants to be apart of that. Even if you have already made a name for yourself and don’t succeed every time people will still support that person.

My question for you guys is “Does success play the biggest role in obtaining twitter followers or is it more then that?”

 

 

VISA INSPIRES CONSUMERS TO PURSUE THEIR OWN DREAMS

Visa has been a sponsor of the Olympic Games for more than 27 years and currently stands as the only payment card accepted at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Visa’s global Olympic marketing campaign celebrates the achievements of the Olympic athletes as a means to inspire consumers to pursue their own dreams. Included in their campaign is the utilization of popular social media platforms recognized globally.  Fans are encouraged to visit Facebook (www.facebook.com/visa) and Twitter (@visa) and share what inspires them.

Visa’s objective in promoting the successful athleticism of the Olympic Games and encouraging others to share their stories helps promote their brand in a positive and uplifting approach.  In addition, their campaign slogan “Everywhere you want to be” sheds light on their inclusive brand that is recognized globally.

Visa’s Olympics commercial, “Everywhere” portrays the dedication and success of the Olympic athletes and inspires viewers to achieve their dreams.

For freeskier David Wise, participating in the Olympic Games wasn’t his only life-long dream.  In a recent tweet, he indicated that #TeamVisa allowed him to cross “item #43” off of his bucket list, with their “Everywhere” commercial.

Visa’s marketing campaign not only celebrates the astounding achievements of the Olympic athletes, but it also gives confidence to fans and empowers them to achieve their most difficult goals, whatever they may be.  After viewing Visa’s Twitter page and seeing the ad commercials, it inspired me to achieve anything I set my mind to and in return allowed me to trust Visa as a brand.

What does Visa inspire you to do?

Sochi Winter Olympics @OHT

 

@OHT is the twitter Handle for One Hour Translation, a professional translation service backed by 15,000 professional HUMAN translators! @OHT offered services for free surrounding the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The service proved to be a success. It was promoted by Mashable, SD Times, Fast Company and more. The Israeli app proved to be popular, ranking number one by the British Telegraph.

So what made @OHT so trendy during the winter Olympics? One Hour Translation offered free services to twitter users who were seeking to understand any phrase, sign, tweet, etc. that was in another language and it was simple to do and responses were fast. One Hour Translation released a statement that the services would be available for free during the winter Olympics. From athletes, reporters and visitors in Sochi, to fans at home anyone could tweet a phrase to @OHT followed by the language they would like it to be translated in to and receive a rapid response.
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With the service open to everyone from start to finish of the Winter Olympics, Ofer Shoshan, CEO of One Hour Translation was seeking none other than success in marketing of his brand, and why should he?

With the Olympics being an international sporting event and a global economy severely lacking in communication skills and language translation @OHT was sure to make a social media statement by offering free services.

Over all I have to say that the One Hour Translation marketing platform during the Winter Olympics was a great idea for PR, and from what I can tell proved to be successful, at least by the British Telegraph.

Did you know about the convenient handle on twitter, @OHT?

Did you use the service or did you find another service to be more useful?