02 September 2016
Harriet Slinger, PR Assistant

Three Gold medal worthy marketing campaigns from Rio 2016

Team GB British Airways

Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

The Olympics has been the hot topic of conversation on everyone’s lips over the last month. I found myself getting so involved, shouting at the television, in the hope that it would help Team GB win, especially with Jason Kenny’s dramatic false start in the Keirin event…

Following our most successful Olympics in a century, it’s not only the athletes who have returned from Rio as winners. A number of brands have also ‘won big’ at the games, through sponsorship and successful partnerships. To celebrate, we’ve picked out our favourite campaigns and awarded gold to the following brands:

British Airways: Team GB landed at London Heathrow in style, flying in a special gold-nosed plane, with the word “victoRIOus” decorated on the side of the plane.

Pairing this visual stunt with an enjoyable in-flight experience ensured that BA received gushing endorsements on social media from members of Team GB. The airline’s branding subtly appeared in all tweets, Instagram pictures and press photos, from the Team GB picture in front of the plane to the cabin crew’s selfies with the returning athletes.

The social media noise and coverage in every national newspaper attracted attention from every angle and helped to boost British Airways’ profile, ensuring that the airline will reap the benefits from its creative PR stunt until the next Olympics and beyond.

Aldi: By sponsoring Team GB, Aldi aligned itself with British values and used creative initiatives to help promote its British produce, changing its public perception of selling European products and encouraging consumers to buy and eat affordable “Great British Food”.

Aldi launched The Taste Kitchen on its website, which featured videos of Team GB athletes sharing their favourite healthy recipes. This shareable video content was used by Aldi’s social media platforms to target younger customers to inspire them to eat like champions.

Aldi also took the lead in social media engagement when it came to Team GB sponsors. According to Waggener Edstrom Communications’ Brand Agility Index, it racked up an impressive 2,335 mentions on social media within the first five days of the games, a great ROI for Aldi!

National Lottery: In their post-race media interviews, many British athletes were quick to thank the National Lottery for the funding that their sport received and the contributions that it has made to their success.

The National Lottery pushed the boundaries of celebrity endorsement and launched personalised social media initiatives, with its own hashtag, #IAmTeamGB. Social media users tweeted, or updated their statuses including this hashtag and in return, they receive a personalised ‘Thank You’ message from a Team GB athlete such as Nicola Adams.

This was a great way to get consumers involved and spread the message that lottery players’ tickets help contribute to the success of British athletes and this helped the Olympics feel even more personal for viewers.

The National Lottery also organised the I Am Team GB sports day event on 27 August, where thousands of sports centres across the country opened their doors to help children engage in Olympic sports. Partnering with ITV, the television station raised even more awareness of the event on the day, when it stopped broadcasting for one hour to get everyone active.

With the social media campaign and the large-scale event, the National Lottery shaped its image as the ‘helping hand’ for athletes in the Olympics. The I Am Team GB campaign should help inspire the next generation of elite athletes and it’s certainly a big coup for the National Lottery, if they can be seen to have contributed to that.

Now, which brand deserves first place?

We couldn’t possibly pick one winner! Several of Team GB’s brand partners have produced some innovative campaigns around the Olympics, which not only boost brand profile, key messages and public perception but also promote important messages around healthy eating and building on the grassroots of sport – after all, that’s what the Olympics is all about!

I’m sure we’ll be seeing more excellent PR and marketing campaigns during the Paralympics and everyone at Westgate is poised and ready to watch the Rio 2016 Paralympics on 7 September!


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