Sochi Winter Olympics: Which Ads Are Crushing It So Far?

As you’re reading this, we’re busy cataloguing new ad campaigns for the Sochi Winter Olympics.  But as of this weekend, there are only 19 Winter Olympics campaigns -- far less than what was catalogued for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t great branded video being released now. The Olympic regulars -- Procter & Gamble, Visa, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Liberty Mutual, among others -- are garnering many views with their campaigns.

What drives branded video viewership during the Olympics?

The Olympics elicits a host of emotions in its viewers. Footage of athletes performing awesome feats of athleticism inspires us and it makes us feel patriotic. The videos that perform the best during the Olympics are those that can capture that same emotion, and no brand does that better than Procter & Gamble, which has two winning campaigns this year – “Proud Sponsor of Moms” and “Pick Them Back Up.”



P&G launched its “Proud Sponsor of Moms” initiative during the 2010 Vancouver Games, but it really drew attention -- and praise -- during the 2012 London Games. This year the company brought it back for a third time.

“Proud Sponsor of Moms” tells the stories of real Olympic athletes and how their moms supported their Olympic dreams. The 2012 campaign garnered 29.3 million views, the most of any campaign during that Olympics. With videos from Evan Lysacek, and Ted Ligety, among more than 20 other athletes, the latest edition of the campaign has already garnered more than 14 million views.

Along with these real stories of athletes and their moms, P&G also released a video, “Pick Them Back Up,” which presents fictional relationships between mothers and Olympians, starting at birth and ending in Olympic glory. It’s hard not to watch the video without shedding a tear -- and with more than 19.3 million views already counted, that’s a lot of tears.

We are seeing tearjerker videos rack up viral views more than any other approach. Look at the Super Bowl, where Budweiser’s heartwarming “Puppy Love” and “A Hero’s Welcome” accumulated a huge number of views and much social buzz. The success of Budweiser shows that audiences go crazy for sweet, heartwarming stories. But what else is P&G doing right that other brands should take note of?

  • P&G tells a great story. Whether or not it’s about an Olympic athlete, the story of a mother’s support for her child is a very relatable one for most people. The more folks relate to the content, the more likely they are to share it.
  • The tone matches the spirit of the Olympics. The way these stories are told is uplifting and inspirational, eliciting the same kind of feelings viewers have when they watch someone win a gold medal.
  • The message speaks to the right audience. P&G found a very effective way to talk to its biggest consumers, moms. And there’s no better way to find favor with a target audience than to celebrate them in a very authentic way.
  • There is a global element to the campaign. P&G doesn’t only produce a U.S. campaign; it produces multiple executions for distribution all over the world. Again, this matches up with the tone of the event, which is a global celebration.
1 comment about "Sochi Winter Olympics: Which Ads Are Crushing It So Far?".
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  1. Frank Gallagher from F. J. Gallagher & Associates, February 12, 2014 at 4:08 p.m.

    This regional ad looks as good as, or better than, some of the national spots:

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