Did Some Olympic Sponsors Skip Marketing 101?
Any marketer or advertiser worth their salt knows that you need to match your product and message to your audience. It’s about as basic as you can get. Want a successful campaign? Conduct research to identify your target audience, most efficient mediums, and most effective message, and then act on what you learned.
That makes perfect sense to me, and I’m sure it makes sense to you. But, apparently it may not have made sense to some Olympic Games sponsors. McDonald's and Coca-Cola each paid up to $100 million for their sponsorships in London this year, which granted them the right to everything from placing the coveted Olympic rings next to their logo to exclusive food and beverage offerings.
However, a recent survey conducted by Research Now of consumers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the UK, and the U.S. found some interesting trends that could put a damper on things. The statement “I don’t understand why this company is an Olympic sponsor,” was most often applied to Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. Consumers in the UK, especially, didn’t see the connection between the Olympics and McDonald’s (46%) and Coca-Cola (28%). Respondents in the U.S. were more comprehending at 28% and 11%.
Add this to the firestorm these companies have already come under due to the perceived “inappropriateness” of their sponsorships, and it makes you wonder if their marketing and advertising teams really did their homework before making their multi-million dollar decisions.
Sure, their sponsorship dollars may have been successful at forcing the games’ attendees to only purchase fries from McDonald’s or Coca-Cola products from vendors. But, in the grand scheme of things – was it really worth it when consumers across the globe don’t understand their brand’s connection to the event or even deem it “inappropriate?” Of course, just because consumers don’t understand the connection, doesn’t mean that the branding won’t work. After all, most purchases are driven by emotion, not logic.
And, come to think of it… I’m kind of craving some fries and a Coke now.