Chobani, a domestic partner of Team USA, made the biggest gains in two out of three metrics that YouGov BrandIndex measured: Ad awareness among Olympic advertisers in the first 10 days of the games ("Which of the following brands have you seen an advertisement for in the past two weeks?") and buzz ("If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”).
Other brands with high awareness were Liberty Mutual, NBC, NBC Sports Network and United.
"The Olympics advertising landscape is often as competitive as the sports events themselves,” Ted Marzilli, CEO of YouGov’s BrandIndex, tells Marketing Daily. “This is common with must-see events, such as the Super Bowl and the Oscars. It comes down to the difficulty of standing out when so much is going on.”
Spending the most doesn’t mean high awareness, Marzilli notes.
“There is no definitive correlation between ad awareness and the ad spend for an event like this -- all bets are off,” he says. “The Olympics is different because of its length, and as we have seen in the past, the final results don't always match the ones at the halfway point."
Chobani’s rise coincides with its 10th anniversary, which it is marking with a campaign promoting a 10-million product giveaway over a three-week period. The company, which owns the largest yogurt plant in the world, shipped 2,000 cases to Team USA.
Among worldwide Olympic partners, Coca-Cola made the strongest showing over the first half, achieving high gains in ad awareness, buzz, and word of mouth ("Which of the following brands have you talked about with friends and family in the past two weeks, whether in person, online, or through social media"). A 90-year veteran of the Olympics, Coke paired up with four U.S. competitors (including gold medalist Nathan Chen), and began its push as far back as September, as the presenting partner of the Olympic Torch Relay.
Other worldwide partners with high awareness were Samsung, Panasonic, Intel and Dow. Toyota, which is showing big bucks against the Olympics globally, did not register.
Olympic broadcaster NBC itself showed movement on YouGov BrandIndex’s tracking metrics, making the second highest gains behind Chobani in buzz, and third highest in ad awareness. The NBC Sports Network, which carries its own programming because of the large scope of Olympics sports coverage, earned the eighth-highest gains in word of mouth.