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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.

#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.

Coca-cola       

Coca-cola twitter

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?

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?

Heartwarming Commercials from P&G.

17,802,181 is the number of views of heartwarming P&G commercial “Pick Them Back Up” on YouTube. This commercial shows us how athletes are doing their best to get a chance to participate in the Sochi Winter Olympic Games and moms supporting their children in every way to achieve their dreams. P&G`s new commercial strategy started in 2012 with the London summer olympic games. “Best Job” is a Emmy Award winner commercial, which also shows how moms are helping their children to achieve something great, something big by pushing their back and picking them up again and again. It`s sentimental scenes and the message “for teaching us that falling only makes us stronger” would definitely make you cry. 

With #thankyoumom and @thankyoumom P&G tweets the results of the #sochi2014 USA team, advertises their products, and communicates with it`s customers. It will help P&G to attract more and more people on the social media.

It`s not only commercials that Procter & Gamble brands supporting moms. Procter & Gamble brands opened Global Family Home (#PGFamilyHome) to support moms and families of athletes who is participating at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Here is the time lapse video of #PGFamilyHome being built at Sochi. https://vine.co/v/M7hbaE7zX5A

In addition to the Family Home, P&G is giving $1,000 Visa gift cards to each of the 357 Olympic and Paralympic athletes’ moms, intended to help them travel to Sochi. Great company!

Catching peoples` hearts is the best marketing strategy!