Automakers Jump On Olympic Bandwagon

Whether they are official sponsors or not, it’s inevitable that many automakers are making connection to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. 

A new campaign for BMW breaks early next week during the Olympics broadcasting that pits the BMW 330e electric hybrid against the much-hyped, but still not available electric Tesla 3. 

BMW is taking on Tesla, marketing its all-ready-for-purchase/lease high-end hybrid against a car for which consumers must still wait to come to market.  The car you’ve been waiting for . . . without the wait,” says the voiceover for the BMW campaign, which was created by The Vault NYC.

“In a not-so-subtle way, we are spotlighting the truism that BMW’s competitor’s automobile still isn’t here, and there is no end in sight for interested consumers,” said Jon Paley, chief creative officer and managing partner of The Vault NYC.  “The spots will appeal to anyone seriously interested in purchasing or leasing a hybrid-powered car, particularly those who don’t want to wait any longer for the other company’s much-hyped product to finally come to market.”  

Meanwhile. Toyota is breaking a new campaign featuring athletes Summer Sanders and Amy Purdy. Sanders is an American former competition swimmer and Olympic champion from 1992. Purdy is a world-class snowboarder and 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist.

Toyota is encouraging people to come together in the spirit of friendship and fair play through the simple act of holding hands in a new ad campaign, “Stand Together.” In addition to broadcast, the campaign will use outdoor advertising and social media elements to create an uplifting message around the teamwork theme.

Developed by Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, the campaign launched with a 60-second spot on NBC’s Olympic Opening Ceremonies. The ad features people across the world, from Toyota team members to skydivers to Team Toyota athletes Sanders and Purdy joining hands and celebrating teamwork. Set to the track of The Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin',” the spot communicates Toyota’s commitment to mobility that facilitates shared experiences.

The campaign also includes a 90-second online only version of the spot. 

The commercial also includes a call to action. For every person who creates a video of people joining hands and shares it using the campaign hashtag, #LetsJoinHands, Toyota will donate $20 to United Way, up to $250,000. In addition, Toyota will mix content from user and influencer submissions into pre-roll and social videos, continuously delivering fresh edits throughout the media run.

Ford is also running an Olympics-themed Snapchat campaign for the 2017 Escape, including a Snapchat lens. But since the automaker isn’t an official sponsor, it must tread carefully so as to not violate International Olympic Committee advertising rules.

“We are being very mindful of the guidelines about what advertisers can do as we evaluate opportunities to connect the Ford brand with real-time cultural events,” says Lisa Schoder, Ford digital marketing manager.

This is the first time Ford has ever purchased a sponsored lens. It will highlight the “We Are All Fans” portion of the campaign. For 24 hours, Ford’s lens will enable U.S. Snapchat users to paint their face in a red, white and blue design and activate a confetti shower.

The Snapchat effort coincides with the likelihood that social media will play a bigger role in Rio Olympics than previous Games, with viewers 85% likely to use second-screen devices, according to Global Web Index.

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