The 2012 London Olympic Games have been truly epic….although you wouldn’t necessarily think it based on NBC’s somewhat dodgy selective and delayed coverage of it. Nonetheless, it was announced today as the ‘biggest ever US TV event’ , despite NBC dropping the baton again by interupting coverage of the closing ceremony to air a new sitcom. Unreal.
I was lucky enough to have been in the Olympic Stadium and witness first hand the drama and excitement of Olympians vying to be the greatest, all wrapped up in some serious Olympic fever. Team GB experienced their greatest medal haul for over 100 years, and the face of the Games, the lovely Jess Ennis, won her Heptathlon Gold in some style. It was simply awe-inspiring.
The Olympic event obviously offers great opportunities for interactive content creation, and the New York Times Olympic coverage has been particularly impressive. The highlights for me (mind your clicks because your freebies are limited) were :
- Racing Against History
- The New Olympic Stars of Twitter
- Christopher Niemann’s Armchair Olympics
- The best and worst countries in the Medal Count
Funnily enough, the Olympic sponsors have been much less creative, which has to go down as a trick missed in terms of the opportunity to create compelling content that can positively influence brand perception.
BMW pulled off the creative coup of the Games by placing a fleet of remote controlled minis in the commercial-free Olympic Stadium itself. They were used to ferry hammers, shots, discusses and javelins back to the throwing areas from the field itself. They also snagged the innovation award – by providing new motion-tracking camera software to US swim and track & field athletes. The technology provides real-time data and analysis of their activities giving them a more comprehensive understanding of what needs to fine-tuned…just like a ‘driving machine’.
BMW also provided all the tranportation for the event, put some gold painted BMWs around London with Games tickets on offer to those that uploaded a picture of themselves with the car. There was a website (that is no more), a Twitter handle and a Facebook page, orchestrated throughout with an accompanying PR campaign. But nothing on a par with the innovative content that the NEw York Times put put out there.
Perhaps some of the other sponsors did more?
Personally, I’m not even going to mention them as I have my own little protest at the shameless promotion of junk food in the context of being an Olympian!