For me, there were 3 interesting ad campaigns during the Olympics.
One wasn’t an ad campaign and the other two weren’t about the Olympics.
That’s what made them interesting.
That, and the fact that they got more attention than the official sponsors.
So they were great examples of predatory thinking.
The one that wasn’t an ad campaign was for headphones: Dr Dre ‘Beats’.
During the games everyone was talking about them.
But the official sponsors were Samsung and Panasonic.
So why wasn’t everyone talking about their headphones?
The Olympic authorities were rigorous in defending the official sponsors’ monopoly.
But Dr Dre ‘Beats’ weren’t an official sponsor, so how come they even got in The Olympics?
The reason is, they gave their headphones to the athletes before the games.
The individual athletes then wore them before their various events, particularly swimming.
The swimmers walked out from a tunnel one-at-a-time, to massive applause from the crowd.
Each one wearing the headphones.
Probably listening to their favourite motivational track.
And those headphones were the talking point of the entire swimming section of the games.
Certainly amongst young people, who are the audience.
Dr Dre ‘Beats’ didn’t pay for sponsorship, and yet they got more attention than the people who did.
That’s predatory thinking.
Another great example of predatory thinking is Nike.
Ask anyone who the Olympic sponsors were and almost everyone will be able to mention Nike as one.
But Nike weren’t sponsors.
While everyone else’s ads were showing footage of athletes running around stadiums, Nike did the opposite.
They didn’t show the pounding feet on the running track, the sweating muscles, the hard breathing, the roar of the Olympic crowd, victorious athletes punching the air.
The interchangeable ads that could have had anyone’s logo on the end.
They showed ordinary people trying to excel at ordinary sports.
Kids in the suburbs, in the slums, in the streets, in London, China, India, America, Africa.
Saying that greatness doesn’t just exist in Olympic stadiums.
Their advertising was moving and memorable.
And most importantly, different.
That’s why everyone noticed it more than the official sponsors’ conventional Olympic advertising.
That’s why it was predatory thinking.
But the best for me was, amazingly, Proctor & Gamble.
Apparently P&G actually were sponsors of the Olympics.
But I didn’t know that.
And P&G didn’t even bother telling me.
What they did tell me was they were “proud sponsors of mums”.
I saw that line on all their advertising.
P&G were saying “We won’t forget who made it all possible: mums.”
And it played perfectly with the post race interviews.
Emotional athletes, crying as they thanked their mums in front of the cameras for supporting them.
Mums watching the TV had to feel validated and proud of their role.
And who buys what P&G make?
Have a guess: Ariel, Bold, Daz, Dreft, Fairy, Flash, Febreze, Lenor, Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Olay, Oral B, Pampers, and Tampax.
See, here’s an interesting fact.
Women are responsible, worldwide, for 80% of the money spent on purchases
And most of those purchases are made by mums.
Because mums don’t just buy for themselves they buy for the entire family.
They buy the week’s supplies for themselves, their husband, and their children.
Not just one of anything, like a man would, but a dozen at a time.
So if you were P&G, selling those kinds of products to those kinds of consumers, what would you want them to feel about you?
Damn right, you’d want them to feel warm and appreciated, that you’re on their side, that you know they’re the ones everyone else depends on.
And you never mention your product once.
You just talk about mums, and end on the sort of medal they should get.
Which just happens to be on the front of all your products.
So, for me, these were three examples of how to beat all the Olympics advertising without doing any Olympics advertising.
Gold, silver and bronze for predatory thinking.