Brands support Team India at London Olympics 2012

The Olympic Games 2012 have begun in London and eyes of all the sport lovers are on the event. In such a scenario when the world is glued to the global sporting event on their televisions sets or web or on mobile, can brands and advertising fraternity be far behind?
Obviously not. So while as a country while we seek Olympic glory, various brands are doing their bit to support Team India and whip up the national pride on various platforms. Adgully spoke to various professionals and corporate to know  to know what is happening around. Ashish Bhasin, Chairman, India and CEO South East Asia, Aegis Group Plc, said, “It’s no longer about putting ads on TV or your logo in the ad, it’s about ‘engaging’ the consumer.”
This engagement can be seen in brands’ activities and advertising. Samsung, which began its pact with the International Olympic Association (IOA) with the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games, has gone beyond ads to engage with the people. The electronics major had earlier been associated with the Athens Olympics (2004), Beijing Olympics (2008) and now, the London Olympics (2012). Samsung India is the ‘Olympics Partner’ for the Indian contingent to the Games. The company announced the ‘Samsung Olympic Ratna’ programme, whereby it is providing scholarship support to eight top performing Indian athletes who have qualified for the London Olympics. The company also flagged off a ‘Best Wishes’ campaign in the beginning of July, which is running on TV and print. Commenting on the company’s digital activities, Rahul Sehgal, CMO, Samsung India shared, “We have kicked-off a digital campaign to rally support for the Indian team, wherein people can walk into 500 retail outlets, plug on to a Samsung device, and use a special app called ‘Play Up’ to wish Team India.”
Another sponsor of  the Indian contingent is Amul which has created a 3D version of a TVC for the Games. Says Nitin Karkare, CEO,  "We want to establish Amul Milk as the ‘World’s original energy drink’. We are looking at various tie-ups for this, and the Olympics is at the core.”
P&G, the official Olympic Games sponsor, has been gaining attention with its ‘Thank You Mom’ campaign. “We announced our partnership with the London Olympic Games 2012 on April 10 to reaffirm our commitment to improving lives through sports. The ‘Thank You Mom’ campaign acknowledges all the hard work that moms put in to raise their children. Through this campaign we want to build and strengthen our position as the ‘Proud Sponsors of Moms,” said a P&G spokesperson.
ESPN STAR Sports, the official broadcast partner for the Games in India, has launched the ‘My Country, My Cheer’ Facebook application. The app enables visitors to post words of encouragement for Team India. In addition, the app also provides a detailed programme schedule for the lead up, and duration of the Games. Another key activity includes a dedicated London 2012 Olympic Games page on the ESPN STAR Sports website,, featuring all the top news, videos, TV programme schedules and Games highlights.
Seagram’s Royal Stag has engagingly and emotively highlighted three stalwarts of the Games – winners of the coveted Olympic Gold medal at the London Olympics 1948 – to pass the beacon of hope to the current set headed to the same shores after 64 years. Leslie Claudius (Olympic gold in 1948, ’52 and ’56), Keshav Dutt (gold in ’48) and Jaswant Singh Rajput (Gold in ’48) feature handing the baton to Bharat Chetri, the goalkeeper captain of the Indian Hockey team to London Olympics 2012 in the ad.
Bikram Basu, Vice President – Marketing, Pernod Ricard India said, “India has a golden heritage in hockey. These legends are our beacon, and hopefully the baton of success will pass firmly to the current team this London Olympics. We want to make it large.”
Meanwhile, Acer has set up a website – – wherein users are asked to sing the National Anthem for the athletes or leave a message of support for their favourite Olympian. The website features user generated content that includes videos of users singing the National Anthem as well as posting comments.
On one hand while corporate are doing their bit supporting Team India at the Olympics, media planners feel that there aren’t too many opportunities for brand integration with the Olympics. Says Gopinath Menon, Co-founder and CEO, Melon Media remarked, “The fact that there are over 50 news channels and 100 publications covering the Games gives brands the reason to milk the Olympics irrespective of how India fares in the various sports. So from a content perspective for brands, it will be dominated by brands whose basic problem is where all to spend money. The reactive categories are those whose marketing manager’s sole focus is to pick up the property before the closest competitor gets it. In the process, the media house will laugh all the way to the bank.”
Zubin Tatna, National Director, MEC, wants brands to take a qualitative call. He advised brands not to view the Games as an ‘impact’ property, but one which has high affinity with the target. “One may not reach numbers, but we do expect a focused and regular audience,” he remarked.

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