AdStand: Rio Olympics

India is busy watching IPL, as the world is getting ready for the Maha Kumbh of sports and brands are using the event to create memorable content for the brands. This week lets look at what the Olympics are inspiring the brands to do. We will see how brands are stepping beyond advertising.


P&G and history of Moms

Sometimes it takes something strong to create someone strong says P&G in this years’ Thank You Mom spot. At almost 9 million views in 5 days, Thank You Mom ( has been winning the mom’s in its second edition of the film. P&G is the global sponsor of Olympics and this year has spoken to 14000 moms globally to shape the campaign. The long format film weaves the moments when even the physically strong and gifted look towards their mother for reassurance and comfort. Yet the film is shorn of drama and makes you wipe a tear or two. Watch it and you will feel inspired by how the toughest go about preparing for the moment by digging into mom’s love. P&G may have won the Rio Olympic sweepstakes for the moment.


It’s the heartbeat that matters

How often has a brand turned heartbeat into a brand narrative? Visa ( builds a stirring tale of an athlete’s preparation for the big moment and the rising heartbeat. The ad follows the entire training process of the long jumper as he prepares for the take off on the D Day, and ends with just two supers: always beating, always performing. Visa has done terrific job of linking its payment system to the heartbeat of the athlete. Under Armour has done a similar spot with Michael Phelps and his last shot at this Olympics ( Visa spot does steal the limelight from Phelps with just heartbeats.


It’s just a flight safety video

There are flight safety videos and there are flight safety videos. Some airlines try to be different, they add a bit of drama, a bit of dance, a sense a moment to something that is a mandatory for the airlines. United Airlines has created a new safety video ( with the Team USA Athletes by clever juxtaposition of athletes at moments where you don’t expect them. United is the sponsor of US Olympics team and this video is a good way to take the partnership forward. Done in a typical flight safety demo style, it’s a good way to get going on a flight.


Brands have gone beyond Advertising

What brands have done this year with Olympics is that they have broken the mold and done things way beyond what they might have done in past. This is where entertainment and communication fuse to create a far bigger brand impact.

Take GoPro, the camera brand and what it has done for Rio 2016. Shot exclusively on GoPro Hero Camera, they have created a nine part series called “Two Roads”. It’s the story of nine top athletes, one coach and their journey to greatness. Episode 1 ( has Pole Vaulter Allison Stokke shows us the importance of being authentic to your passions and why embracing your life’s path is the only way to move forward.  At 3 million views just for first episode, the series will eventually deliver a large set of audience who will take GoPro to greater heights.

Samsung has taken a completely different path and created a 37 minute documentary called fighting chance (

It’s a stirring tale of four athletes who come from less blessed backgrounds and have worked hard to represent their country at Rio 2016. The film is about

athletes from Lesotho (Tsepo Mathibelle, Marathon), Vanuatu (Miller Pata and Linline Matauatu, Beach Volleyball) and the Dominican Republic (Yenebier Guillen Benitez, Boxing, 75kg). If you feel like stepping out and going for a run after watching the film, you know the film has stirred your heartstrings.

Nike too is deeply involved in the Olympic movement and has a series of content around how athletes are training for Rio. The series called Inner Strength is a tale of how some of the most unusual athletes are preparing for glory. The first Documentary ( is about the female weightlifter from UAE.


Rio Olympics will spark off more branded content ever then any previous sporting or entertainment event may have sparked off.


There is nothing from India

India has not had a great Olympics tradition, but off late the country has done well, regularly earning medals in a few sports. Yet as an event Rio 2016 is not the theme for any brand in India. May be its time that the brands looked at Archery, Shooting, Running, Shotput, Rowing, Tennis, Boxing and think of doing something there. Till then enjoy this video (

Its time to get ready for Rio


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