Wednesday, February 28, 2018
by Kelly Duggan

Did advertising influence Team GB’s record-breaking Winter Olympics?

It was a wonderful Winter Olympics for Team GB in South Korea, taking home five medals in total, a record-breaking haul that is sure to inspire a new generation of athletes.

In addition to winning more medals than ever before, it’s also the first time a British athlete has defended a Winter Olympic title, with Lizzie Yarnold MBE winning back-to-back Olympic gold medals in 2014 and 2018 – this makes her the most successful British Winter Olympian and the most successful Olympic Skeleton athlete from any nation of all time, and she even set the track record for Women’s Skeleton in the process! But what can we put this success down to?

Well, first of all, athletes must be fit, focused and talented, but to be inspired to achieve such greatness, you also need support behind you – not just the support of your family and friends but the backing and encouragement of an entire nation, and this comes about through a passion for sport, of course, but also sponsorship and advertising.

Advertising for the 2018 Winter Olympics started in the UK when BBC Sport showcased an animated video entitled 'The Fearless are Here', a campaign designed to raise both awareness and anticipation for the Games and get viewers revved up to cheer our athletes on. This ‘Fearless’ attitude got people in Britain excited about the Games and appealed to their fighting spirit – and the Games really were captivating, starting with the opening ceremony.

This fantastic three-hour celebration caught the attention of around 30 million viewers – check out the best moments of the opening ceremony right here – but unfortunately, apprehension surrounded this year’s Winter Olympics as a result of its proximity to North Korea, and the sub-zero conditions most certainly wouldn’t have helped. Although Games officials claimed that nearly 90% of tickets were sold before the Games began, this didn’t appear to be reflected in reality, with large areas of empty seating seen in the stands.

Engagement worldwide has been impressive though, and it’s mainly thanks to social media – just as many spin-off shows revealing all the backstage gossip have enjoyed success on UK TV, such as Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two, people are seriously interested in following behind-the-scenes action, and this is much the same for the Winter Olympics! Viewers want to know what the Olympic Village is like, what food the athletes are eating; this kind of content is incredibly popular at the moment – and the best way to get this kind of information is from the athletes themselves.

Because of this, various advertisers have made the switch to channel their investment into more targeted advertising, with many partnering with athletes for exposure, tapping into the interest around behind-the-scenes content. You can find out more about this by speaking to our social media team, but in a nutshell, it’s important to know that organic reach is great but can diminish across social platforms. Because of this, brands need to be sure to maximise the impact of these relationships by extending them with paid social, allowing them to reap the full benefits and reach as many people as possible.

If you consider how most people watching the Winter Olympics on TV would have also been on a smartphone at the same time, social media is a great way to reach them – with live action to comment on, sporting events like this really can unite a nation and get people talking.

If you want your brand to be a gold medal-winner in the world of advertising, get in touch with Denfield today and find out how your business can benefit from being ‘Fearless’ too.