Between the Super Bowl and Olympics we have had a ton to talk about in the advertising world this year. It has been very exciting following along with all our athletes and watching their journey to the gold (GO USA Women’s Hockey!!). Even with the excitement, NBC has seen a significant decline in live viewership even with the introduction of virtual reality. The Olympics saw a similar trend when it came to live views as did the Super Bowl. This difference between the two is the additional digital interaction (apps, websites, VR, etc.) making it hard to track true numbers.

Winter Olympics vs Super Bowl

When it comes to television, advertisers often rely on live events to promote their brands. Live programs, such as sports games and award shows, tend to attract larger audiences than pre-recorded shows. This year, the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics are the two big sporting events that everyone will be talking about. Advertisers can take advantage of this opportunity by letting their brands join in on the conversation.

Although both events drive discussion, there are significant differences to the foundation of the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics. The Super Bowl is more about picking sides and choosing teams. Since the audience is already pinned against one another, commercials usually revolve around the battle of the brands. Both the teams and the brands are working hard to stand out and end up victorious. In a different way, the Winter Olympics is an event that brings people together to cheer on their country. Instead of choosing one side, people are rooting for the same team (usually their home country). There is a sense of togetherness and pride that comes with the historic value of the Olympics. Since the Olympics is held on an international scale, brands that have a global presence can benefit more from an event like the Winter Olympics over the Super Bowl.

Olympic Advertising Dos & Don’ts

Before you start cheering on your favorite athlete or sending out messages of support for Team USA, be sure to know where your brands stand. The Winter Olympics is a very expensive event. Therefore, if you aren’t a sponsor, then you do not have the rights to benefit by directly mentioning the games. Rule 40 in the Olympic Charter provides more information about the exclusive advertising around the Olympics. There are many things that athletes, official sponsors, and other brands can and can’t do when it comes to what they say and post throughout the duration of the Winter Olympics. However, not all hope is lost for brands who cannot afford to be Winter Olympic sponsors. When it comes to non-official sponsors, they need to think outside of the box to build a creative campaign within the restraints of Rule 40.

This rule restricts brands from:

  • Ambush marketing
  • Launching a brand new campaign with an athlete that is currently competing in the games
  • Using any terms in their posts/ads that relate to the Olympics (i.e. Olympic Games, victory, gold, silver, bronze, Pyeongchang, etc.)

It will be interesting to see what the numbers will be for the closing ceremonies this Sunday, as well as how the sponsors close out this season’s advertising. We are looking forward to seeing our athletes relax and enjoy all their hard work. We have a few more events to go and can’t wait to watch the results live!

Interested in learning about running your brand’s ad during the next Olympics or any upcoming event, contact us at DCW Media.