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Digital Marketing Goes For Gold At The Olympics

August 17, 2016 - Fifteen

With reported sponsorship contracts of up to £64 million for some of the giants like Visa and Coca-Cola, marketing is a huge part of the 2016 Olympics.

Hosting the tournament in Rio is not without its problems for the UK market though. With a significant time difference, and most of the major events showing in the early hours each morning, a lower turnout of viewers has meant brands have been forced into turning to the digital market to engage their consumers.

With a host of eager brands competing for gold from the digital industry, read on to find out who we’re placing on the podium:


Proving it can be playful – car manufacturer Nissan. The motoring giant pranked some of Team GB’s finest in the lead up to the Olympics.

Actors posing as sponsorship executives got the likes of Jazmin Sawyers and Katarina Johnson-Thompson to promote Nissan with over-the top suggestions, such using an ‘N’ for Nissan victory sign or ‘steering’ themselves around the running track, and filmed the bewildered athletes’’ reactions.

The campaign has proved hugely successful over various channels, poking fun at the stringent sponsorship pressures placed on today’s athletes and the hashtag #DOITFORUS engaging the UK market with a feeling of comradeship.


The longest continuous sponsor of the games, Coca-Cola’s marketing strategy was always going to make an impact.

#ThatsGold builds on the taste the feeling campaign that has propelled Coke into the forefront of brand marketing. The campaign compares footage of 79 athletes’ gold-medal wins with ordinary people’s everyday moments in life, asking: what does gold feel like?

The campaign spills over into the real world with two huge experimental marketing events in Rio over the games. One of the attractions includes an opportunity to take a 360-degree photo with the Olympic Torch and a hub for social media stars to engage with content for the brand.


And the Usain Bolt of digital? That medal goes to Camelot.

Pushing off from the starting line, the National Lottery launched a personalised Twitter campaign, which delivered immediate bespoke content to selected users hashtagging #IAmTeamGB. The personalised material ranged from videos to athletes bearing personalised placards filled with messages of thanks.

Ramping up to the games, the national lottery’s message for the 2016 Olympics was one of life-changing proportions: mainly the fact that Camelot has provided the most funding and opportunity for Team GB athletes, contributing over £80-million a year.

With the ‘When they win you can too’ campaign the lottery offers prize funds of upto 1 million every time the UK scoops a medal and encourages users to be part of ‘the UK’s biggest ever sports day’ on Saturday 27 August.

Think your brand could be medal-worthy? Contact our digital marketing team today.


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