Coca-Cola Builds On Largest Olympic Marketing Effort In Company History

By Barry Janoff

July 5, 2012: With just three weeks to go until the Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympics, Coca-Cola has unveiled the latest elements in what it is calling "the largest Olympic-themed marketing effort" in company history.

Activation for the Summer Games, which run July 27-Aug. 12, includes eight Olympic-themed TV spots, a promotion via My Coke Rewards, a mobile Coca-Cola Swelter Stopper tour, limited-edition Olympic graphics on products at retail, downloadable music and graphics and consumer interaction via social media destinations.

Coca-Cola, an official marketing partner of the U.S. Olympic and International Olympic Committees, has already activated behind the 2012 Games in various aspects, including co-sponsor of the Torch Run currently making its way to London.

Coke said it would release eight TV spots during the Games across NBC Universal networks, which will be airing the events, as well as in theaters nationwide. The commercials feature eight current, former or Olympic team hopefuls who are official Coca-Cola spokespersons: David Boudia (diving), Henry Cejudo (wrestling), Marlen Esparza (boxing), John Isner (tennis), Shawn Johnson (pictured below; gymnastics), Jessica Long (paralympic swimming), Alex Morgan (soccer) and David Oliver (track & field).

Coca-Cola said the aspirational spots, part of Coca-Cola’s "Open Happiness" campaign, would  emphasize "the values of community, connection and support." Lead agencies are Ogilvy & Mather, Wieden + Kennedy and Leo Burnett.

“The new work captures the individual stories of support of our athletes on their Olympic journeys,” Katie Bayne, president and GM for Sparkling Beverages, Coca-Cola North America, said in a statement. “Just like Coke, the energetic stories are all about patriotic optimism.”

The beverage giant said that would "serve as the digital hub designed to bring families closer to the Coca-Cola 8-Pack of Athletes." Activation includes interactive athlete quizzes, instant-win prize opportunities and enter-to-win sweepstakes.

Coca-Cola's "On the Go with D.O.” at My Coke Rewards offers consumers the chance to bring 2008 Olympic bronze medalist David Oliver (aka “D.O.”) to their child’s school for a “field day” of athletic activities.

The Coca-Cola Swelter Stopper is a mobile marketing unit that is scheduled to appear at more than 80 events throughout the summer. The vehicle "reflects the look and theme of the 2012 London Olympic Games."

According to Coke, it includes "blasts of frosty air to provide refreshing relief to visitors in the summer heat,"  an ice bar with a “perfect serve” Coca-Cola sampling experience, the ability for visitors to upload a photo and a message of support for the chance to appear in a montage “Cheers” video (which will be featured on Coca-Cola’s social channels during the Games), an opportunity to view Olympic Games footage and take part in interactive challenges and a recording studio and photo station, providing consumers with a memento that captures the experience.

Coca-Cola recently offered consumers the opportunity to download messages and photos of encouragement for Team America. A collage of the photos will appear on a six-story Coca-Cola billboard in New York's Times Square billboard on July 18.

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