Viewers of the Olympics may have had some confusion about who actually sponsored the Games, but recent survey results from YouGov indicate that many brands saw notable swings in public perception as a result of their sponsorship. Measured by “Buzz score” – which asks American adults if what they’ve heard about a brand in the past 2 weeks has been positive or negative – the study shows that 10 of the 13 US-facing brands saw a positive change in score through the first half of the Olympics. Visa led the way, jumping from a score of 8.2 a week prior to the Olympics to a score of 22.7 during the Olympics (week of 7/27-8/3). Other brands seeing marked improvement in their scores include BP (8.5), Acer (5.1), and Coca Cola (3.5). Unlike Coca Cola, which began with a solid Buzz score of 20.5, BP moved from negative (-5.9) to positive (2.6) territory.
GE Takes Gold for Ad Effectiveness
Meanwhile, an Ace Metrix analysis of sponsor ads at the halfway point of the Olympics (to August 1) found that General Electric’s “First Chance” was the top ad by creative effectiveness, with an Ace Score of 646. (The Ace Score measures viewer reaction to national TV ads. The results are presented on a scale of 1-950 and are based on attributes such as relevance, persuasion, watchability, information, attention, etc.)
General Electric also took silver in terms of their overall average Ace Score for all ads aired up to and during the Olympics (until August 1), with an average score of 589. Chobani sported the highest average Ace Score of 594, while Coca-Cola was 3rd with 579.
Of note, though GE’s ads were deemed quite effective by Ace Metrix, GE was one of the few sponsors to actually see a negative swing in perception, per the YouGov results.
Advertisers Ignore Social Media
Although some sponsors have benefited from their association with the Olympics, many did not take advantage of opportunities presented to them, according to an August 2012 study from A.T. Kearney. Analyzing 246 TV spots placed by 140 brands across 8 countries during the Opening Ceremony, A.T. Kearney found that half of the advertising brands did not reference any digital content. Of the half that did, 4 in 5 limited their reference to posting a URL link to the brand’s website. That left just 1 in 10 including Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube links.
And despite the event drawing a viewing audience of 1.3 billion people around the world, 3 of the 11 global sponsoring brands did not advertise.
Olympics Conversation Takes Place on Twitter
Advertisers’ decisions not to leverage social media during the Opening Ceremony seems more like a missed opportunity given the role that social media played in viewers’ consumption of the Games. Data released in August by Twitter indicates that there were more than 150 million tweets about the Olympics during the course of the Games. This includes more than 80,000 tweets-per-minute (TPM) as Usain Bolt of Jamaica won 200m sprint gold, more than 74,000 TPM while he won gold in the 100m sprint, and more than 57,000 TPM during Andy Murray of Great Britain’s victory in the men’s tennis singles final.
Indeed, 10 Olympians saw more than 1 million tweets each, including: Usain Bolt; Michael Phelps; Tom Daley; Ryan Lochte; and Gabby Douglas.