MiC heads to the Olympics for its Global Tour

We dig deep on three Olympic initiatives with Robin LeGassicke from Maxus.

It’s go time! The 2012 London Olympic Games officially begin today with the Opening Ceremony and MiC couldn’t pass up the chance to fuel the Global Tour with some Olympic juice. So this week it’s all about the Games, from outdoor and ambient executions to social media-infused campaigns.

We spoke with Robin LeGassicke, group director, Maxus about efforts from Gillette, the City of London and Tide to see what he thought of their branding power during one of the world’s most talked-about competitions.

Experiential: The City of London cleans up its streets

Litter bugs be gone. The City of London is giving the star treatment to ordinary people who throw away their trash by way of Olympic podiums stationed at garbage bins on sidewalks. Each time a person steps onto the top level, a round of applause is issued from the bin and their picture is taken and shared on the 2012 London Olympic Games official website. And some images are turned into a print ads and featured on billboards and transit shelters.

LeGassicke: I love this idea and execution. How do you make picking up garbage or cleaning fun and resonate with people on the streets? This execution reaches into the mindset of Londoners and provides immediate gratification for a job well done, with the potential of having five minutes of fame later on in the campaign.

The concept is simple, but I’m sure behind-the-scenes was not. This could have fallen flat on execution, but it didn’t. The experience reaches beyond the street, encouraging people to go to the site for their pictures. It gives the opportunity for the experience to become social and viral, spreading the message of city cleanliness quickly. Pride seems to be the driving the force behind this execution. Any time a campaign can relevantly connect with a person’s core values or ego, success typically follows.

Click here to read the international story.

OOH: Gillette stands tall for the Games

The thought of London during the Olympic Games conjures images of chaotic street scenes, not to mention an explosion of brand imagery. So how exactly does a brand get noticed amidst the abundant competition? Gillette is banking on 1,620 square metres of space on the sides of three massive skyscrapers. Its “Great Start” ads for the P&G male grooming brand boast creative with its three brand ambassadors that could be seen from miles away.

LeGassicke: This campaign is a great use of the corporate partnership Gillette has built with its sporting brand ambassadors paired with a great use of exceptional OOH real estate. It’s certainly about raising the profile of the brand to a mass audience as the OOH placements capitalize on the massive amounts of traffic that are anticipated to move in and out of the area during the Games.

The one surprise for me on this campaign is the lack of a Facebook or Twitter page on the “Great Start” OOH creative, closing the loop within the multimedia campaign that is meant to reflect P&G’s overall commitment to raising funds for sports youth programs across the globe. It would have been another way to capitalize on the traffic, potentially reminding them to “like” or follow on Twitter with their mobile devices in hand, giving them the ability to continue to talk to that massive audience after the Games are over.

Click here to read the international story.

Digital: Tide patches together a social media flag

Tide’s “My Story. Our Flag” campaign took advantage of an extra-patriotic time period. The giant-sized quilted flag that incorporated tweets and Facebook comments on what the flag colours mean to people was revealed a day before Independence Day and in celebration of Team America at the Olympics – a double whammy of patriotic events. The 117 x 52-foot flag was presented in New York’s Bryant Park, with each patch washed by Tide detergent before being sewn together and displaying the people who contributed stories.

LeGassicke: The concept of asking Americans to share what red, white and blue means to them is not new. Taking their stories and repurposing them, or using them for a brand’s marketing purpose is also not new. They’re not new, because they work.

Creating an emotional connection to a brand is a good marketing move. This concept in particular draws on the core values of the US and touches on the emotional side of anyone interested in reading the stories. Utilizing celebrities and athletes during the Olympics will help draw attention and perhaps create more interest in the stories. Where the concept loses me is the connection to Tide.  How does this relate to a laundry detergent?  Washing the swatches in Tide before sewing them together is a bit of a stretch. “My Story. Our Flag” could be brought to you by any brand. While the timing and emotional connection is great and validates the idea, the brand relevancy tied to the campaign is lacking.

Click here to read the international story.