Our series of key marcomms trends for London 2012 starts with a look at why an effective out-of-home campaign could ensure cut-through during the Games.
With a significant lack of advertising opportunities around the live Olympic coverage on the BBC, other media will play a more pivotal role in the run-up to and during the London games. While many brands will base strategies around digital, distinctive poster activity should ensure brands stand out from the undoubted sporting-themed clutter which will abound in 2012. adidas is a notable example of a brand which constantly gets it right with OOH. Its pre-Beijing campaign hinged on outdoor work and the visually jaw-dropping executions (interwoven into a hugely successful overarching integrated campaign) caught the imagination of an expectant, supportive and immensely proud nation. Not only was the activity visually stunning and ensured immediate cut-through and brand recognition, it was also intrinsically linked to experiential activity which saw thousands of consumers happily queuing on the streets of Beijing and Shanghai to ‘appear’ as a Chinese athlete in their own personal execution. adidas is perhaps the master of creating impact with OOH.
The 2008 European Football Championships in Austria saw a 138ft Octagon-armed Petr Cech placed on the Giant Ferris Wheel in Vienna’s Prater Park, while giant inflatable adidas ambassadors greeted commuters at Vienna’s main train station. Such activity garnered huge media interest, not to mention huge consumer interaction, with massive value that more than covered the cost of the activity.
OOH offers vast worth if the activity stands out and demands media coverage. Nike’s ‘Rooney St George’ has become an iconic image formany English football fans and is almost common football image currency – despite the fact that it was only ever one single billboard poster out on the M4 motorway going out of London.
Staying with football, Manchester City created worldwide news when they greeted new signing Carlos Tevez with a poster ad with his image and the copy ‘Welcome to Manchester’. Designed partly to irritate the fans of more successful local rivals Manchester United, the poster became widely discussed, not just in Manchester, but across the footballing world, even invoking disparaging comments from United manager Sir Alex Ferguson which ensured even more media attention. Both campaigns comprised a single execution but the ripple effect they created was astonishing and their reach went far beyond the number of people who actually saw the posters for themselves.