Geo-Hacking The Games

You can’t use “Olympic” or “London 2012” if you aren’t an official sponsor of the Olympic Games. But Nike has done an impressive hijacking (or hacking) of that rule, creating relevance and (arguably) more poignant advertising than being a sponsor would have created.

Using global locations that are also named London, such as London, Ohio and Little London, Nigeria, Nike brings us this inspiring video, “Find Your Greatness”.

This is not new territory for Nike, which started exceptional ambush marketing in 1996 Atlanta Olympics with its purchase of billboard space around the city, when the official sponsor only controlled the venues themselves.

The interesting part is that in today’s digital society, when influencers don’t tune into NBC to watch the live coverage, they aren’t even tuning into the official sponsor’s message digitally. A quick YouTube search for “Adidas Olympics” and “Adidas Games” (the official sponsor) didn’t result in a single video with over half a million views. “Nike Olympics” and “Nike Games” pulls up the “Find Your Greatness” with 3.8m and counting, and “Game On, World” with 1.7m and counting.

This is showing the extent to which reaching audience with keen insights that in turn reveal great creative, has little to do with the official sponsor title. The big winners are the ones that turn the expectation on its head to connect with a jaded audience that sneers at official titles.

What does your brand need to do to connect with relevance in this changing audience and media landscape?


– James Rice, Chief Digital Officer

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