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    Big Screens, Bigger Impact: Olympic Advertising

    Posted by Monalisa Roy

    The Olympics are all set to make some noise this summer. Get ready for 12 hours of live sports coverage. But what does it mean for advertisers?

    The Olympic Games stand as a testament to the unifying power of sports, transcending geopolitical boundaries to bring nations together in the pursuit of athletic excellence. As one of the most celebrated and watched events worldwide, brands that advertise during Olympics have historically seen significant brand recognition and paved the way for massive success.

    The global reach of the Olympic Games serves as a platform for cultural exchange, fostering camaraderie among diverse nations and promoting a sense of unity through the shared language of sports. This poses an exciting opportunity for advertisers who want to showcase their brands on a global scale. In fact, “NBCUniversal has sold all of its advertising inventory for its live coverage of the Opening Ceremony and halftime slots during soccer, basketball and other team competitions, across its broadcast, cable, streaming, and digital platforms”, said Lovinger, NBCUniversal’s president to Reuters. 

    As the world tunes in, advertisers have a golden opportunity to reach millions, if not billions, of viewers in real-time, and this presents an unparalleled chance to leave a lasting impression across screens. In this article, we will explore the global reach of the Olympic Games and the role of advertising on big screens, and the unique opportunities it presents for brands and marketers. 

    The Opportunity in Olympic Advertising

    The Olympic Games represent an extraordinary opportunity for advertisers to showcase their brands on a global stage like no other. This unparalleled global viewership, coupled with the emotionally charged atmosphere of the Games, presents a unique window of opportunity for marketers to connect with audiences in a meaningful and impactful way. Consumers love consuming content while at home. A grand event such as the Olympics will of course have millions of people tuning in to watch their favorite games. 

    The varying levels of interest in the Olympics across different regions and generations highlight the importance of tailored content delivery and the significant role that streaming services play in modern viewership patterns. In Brazil, there was a surge in streaming viewership with around 50.6% saying they would watch the Tokyo Olympic Games 2021 live, despite the 12-hour difference between South American countries and Japan. In North America, Gen Z and Millennials are notably more enthusiastic about the Olympics compared to Baby Boomers, who show the least interest. This trend is mirrored in South-East Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, where younger generations, encompassing Gen X, demonstrate a higher propensity to engage with Olympic sports than older demographics. Additionally, in Europe, Baby boomers constitute the largest segment of Olympic enthusiasts.

    Reports found that 13% of global consumers watched the series of video game-based competitions in 2021. From among the 17 countries where respondents were surveyed, India recorded the largest viewership for the games with 33 percent of consumers answering that they did watch the event. According to LG Advertising Solutions, CTV is now the UK’s preferred method for watching live TV. Sports are major drivers of live TV and also CTV: 53% of UK TV viewers watch sports via streaming.  In India, viewers can stream live sports such as the ICC Cricket World Cup, IPL, etc. for free. Due to this, over 90% of all TVs sold in India were Smart TVs over the past two years. India is poised to be one of the fastest-growing markets (currently it’s Saudi Arabia) in the world for eSports with market revenue forecast to grow from USD 7.6 million in 2021 to USD 21 million in 2027 – at a CAGR of 22.3%, according to a PwC report. The possibilities are endless and advertisers who are leveraging this opportunity will be ahead of the competition during the big games.

    While CTV has its unique allure, DOOH ads create a memorable impact. In fact, 60% of millennial consumers said they make a reactive purchase after experiencing FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), most often within 24 hours. Leveraging an event as grand as the Olympics can help brands appeal to the FOMO of shoppers, especially those who aren’t present at the event. A report found that 32 percent of respondents visited the advertised store, restaurant, or other business after seeing out-of-home place-based digital ads. 

    The Olympics stand as a global spectacle, yet the power of advertising during this event can be harnessed at a local level through messages tailored to specific audiences and contexts. While Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) advertising naturally presents itself as hyperlocalized targeting with its physical presence in specific locations, Connected TV (CTV) advertising brings a nuanced layer of personalization to the digital realm. Unlike traditional TV, where a single advertisement might be broadcast across an entire network or varied slightly by channel, CTV technology enables the delivery of diverse ads to different households, regions, or countries. This capability ensures that the content is highly relevant to each viewer, enhancing the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns by aligning them more closely with the interests, cultures, and languages of local audiences.

    All in all, the true beauty of targeting big screens in such a global event lies in the possibility of syncing a brand message across screens. Making the most out of the storytelling of CTV, the impact of DOOH, the interactivity inherent to Mobile, and the measurability of programmatic, to achieve omnichannel strategies seamlessly.

    Big Screen Impact on Households

    A large number of viewers are expected to tune into the Olympic games on their CTV this summer. Many Olympic viewers have their preferred sporting events and may not be interested in every sport on the schedule. For instance, someone enthusiastic about shooting might not eagerly tune in to watch gymnastics. While someone wanting to watch wrestling is less likely to tune into boxing. Depending on the specific events being broadcasted at any given time, viewers are likely to switch from Olympic coverage to other streaming content. This also means that viewers may also switch to other OTT content or even shift from one platform to another to watch their content. 

    The Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 reached a global broadcast audience of more than 2 billion people, according to independent research conducted on behalf of the International Olympic Committee. The global live-streaming market size reached US$ 70.2 Billion in 2023 and is expected to reach US$ 520.7 Billion by 2032, exhibiting a growth rate (CAGR) of 24.93% during 2024-2032, with die-hard sports fans favoring CTV due to its accessibility and affordability. Additionally, with CTV becoming rapidly popular, OTT platforms have become the entertainment of choice. 

    With this golden opportunity, what are your chances of campaign success? 

    First, let's take an example of how a brand can use big screens to create an impact on its target audience. Imagine a sports apparel brand looking to capitalize on the Olympic season to boost its sales and brand visibility. They have a new line of Olympic-themed merchandise they want to promote. The brand creates visually stunning, high-definition commercials showcasing its apparel, and uses CTV's targeting capabilities to display their ads during Olympic broadcasts. 

    Let's say when a user is streaming Olympic gymnastics on their smart TV, the brand's commercial is shown during commercial breaks or in between events. The CTV ad can include interactive elements, such as QR codes that allow viewers to explore the merchandise on their mobile devices or directly make purchases. mediasmart's CTV creative sync allows advertisers to use these big screens creatively and keep their audience engaged. 

    With viewers using a second screen while watching CTV content, the sports brand can leverage this opportunity and reach users by showing an ad on their household connected devices such as smartphones or tablets. This allows the advertiser to give a final nudge to the shopper to complete a purchase and increase brand recall.

    To truly create an impact it is essential to measure how the CTV campaign is performing. CTV measurement offers an enormous advantage over linear TV since it's easier to track campaign success in real-time. With the help of tools and insights, the advertiser can further track progress and understand the shopper's journey more comprehensively, taking into account what they watched, when, and on which device; and how they interacted with the ad, the website, the app, or even the offline shop. Based on this invaluable insight and ad performance, advertisers can optimize their spends that will maximize their ROI in real-time.

    Integrating Connected TV advertising with DOOH advertising into your broader digital marketing strategy can offer a holistic approach to capturing audiences across multiple touchpoints. Let’s see how DOOH screens can be beneficial for your Olympics advertising campaign.

    Big Screen Impact Out of Home

    Large, high-definition screens are the talk of the town during the Olympics. These screens placed in strategic locations across cities, transportation hubs, malls, etc. offer an unparalleled reach. Moreover, they create a vibrant and immersive atmosphere, enhancing the overall Olympic experience. With the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 reaching a global broadcast audience of more than three billion people, advertisers are on the lookout for securing a spot. But with increasing popularity, it has become expensive to buy ad spots during the Olympics in the host city. 

    With ad spots already being sold out as early as the beginning of 2024, what does it mean for advertisers who did not secure a spot at the great games? How can advertisers create an impact with their Olympic ad campaigns? 

    Advertisers should embrace Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) advertising for its unparalleled visibility in high-traffic public spaces, creating a nonintrusive, yet impossible-to-ignore presence that captures the attention of passersby. A major benefit of Digital Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising during sporting events like the Olympics lies in its ability to offer individuals the opportunity to experience the events even if they are not physically present at the event.

    Let’s take an example of how this would work in a real-life setting.

    A global sports brand decides to run an Olympic-themed DOOH advertising campaign in multiple cities around the world, focusing on areas with high foot traffic such as shopping malls, public squares, and near major public transportation hubs. The campaign features dynamic video ads that highlight the brand's latest sportswear line inspired by the Olympics, showcasing athletes wearing the brand while engaging in various Olympic sports.

    The brand serves ads on DOOH screens that not only display high-definition videos of athletes in action but also offer an interactive experience, by targeting the users around those displays with Rich Formats on their Mobile phones. The synchronization would be possible thanks to technology such as mediasmart’s DOOH Audience sync. The campaign includes a series of challenges or competitions tied to the Olympics, such as predicting medal winners or participating in virtual sports challenges. Winners could receive discounts, free merchandise, or a chance to win a trip to the next Olympic Games. Each targeted city has geolocalized offers to make the campaign more relevant to the audience.

    This approach allows advertisers to effectively leverage the global appeal of the Olympics, creating engaging and interactive DOOH campaigns that captivate audiences worldwide, even if they are not directly present at the Games. This could only be improved by adding an omnichannel approach, where advertising on different screens is combined. Let’s explore how all of it comes together. 

    Omnichannel Campaigns with Hyperlocal Precision

    In the era of personalized and hyper-targeted advertising, it's not just about reaching the masses; it's about connecting with the right audience at the right time and place.  Enter omnichannel campaigns with hyperlocal precision, a strategic approach that has emerged as a powerful tool for advertisers during the Olympics. Where the world's attention converges, hyperlocal precision allows brands to engage with spectators, tourists, and fans in ways that are not only highly relevant but also geographically specific. 

    Harnessing the power of omnichannel marketing strategies, brands can create highly targeted and location-specific campaigns that resonate with local audiences in real-time. In France, by delivering tailored promotions to fans attending Olympic events in specific cities, sending push notifications to those near Olympic venues, or running geofenced ads for local businesses, advertisers can ensure messages are tailored to the audience. In the rest of the world, whether making the most out of Olympics CTV viewership or taking advantage of local DOOH impact, the hyperlocal approach ensures that every message feels relevant and timely.

    Let's take an example. A renowned sportswear brand wants to leverage this global event and seamlessly integrate Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH), Connected TV (CTV), and Mobile advertising to engage with its target audience. DOOH screens, strategically positioned near Olympic venues to display captivating visuals of athletes clad in the brand's Olympic-themed attire. This creates a buzz among onlookers. Simultaneously, CTV ads air during live Olympic broadcasts to showcase the sportswear collection's versatility and style. Syncing the ads within the same household, the users are impacted on their mobile devices. The mobile ad increases interactivity and enables viewers to explore and purchase directly through their screens. 

    This omnichannel synergy ensures that the brand's message resonates with audiences across various touchpoints and leaves a lasting impression to drive heightened interest and sales during the Olympic festivities.

    Acing your Olympics Advertising Campaign 

    Olympics advertising will become crucial for brands as hundreds of millions tune in to watch their favorite competitions. With all the sponsors and partner brands already advertising extensively before and throughout the event, advertisers must make the best use of the visibility of this event with carefully planned campaigns. We recommend a blend of CTV, Mobile, and DOOH ads to create maximum impact for your Olympics advertising campaign. 

    Tailoring campaigns to specific viewing platforms not only enhances relevance but also maximizes reach, demonstrating the importance of adapting to changing consumer behaviors in the ever-expanding digital and broadcast landscape. It's a strategic move that highlights the necessity of staying agile and consumer-centric in today's media landscape.

    Ready to supercharge your Olympics advertising campaign? Contact us today!

    Topics: CTV, ctv advertising