The Olympics of advertising…who wins?

For the past several months, have you noticed your tv programming filled to the brim with Rio 2016 Olympics advertising?

Take a look at a couple spots featuring these well-loved Olympic athletes:

Whether it’s a spot featuring swimmer Michael Phelps or gymnastics phenom Simone Biles, you get warm fuzzies watching them. Perhaps a few tingles down your arm.

Now it’s quiz time. Which of the above companies was the official sponsor of the 2016 games? Did you notice? Do you care?

In this case the Hershey’s ad was the official sponsor. In past games, only official sponsors could advertise and include athletes and the iconic Olympic rings in their spots. But because of a change to the International Olympic Committee’s “Rule 40” – non-official sponsors can get a waiver for this blackout period and advertise – they just can’t mention “Olympics”, “gold,” “Rio,” and “games.” They may elude to it, and that’s where creativity comes into play in both advertising and social media.

While the general consensus is companies and athletes feel this is a big step forward especially for smaller businesses who sponsor athletes, others (cough! the official sponsors) feel this takes away from the advertisers who ponied up the money to be legit.  The official ads become one in the mix of many – perhaps with no ROI of being a sponsor.

What do you think? Should non-sponsors be allowed to run Olympics-themed ads? Do you think it’s fair?


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