We are now only 58 days away from the opening ceremony of the London Summer Olympic Games. You can see the exact countdown on the Official Website here. I've been blogging about the Olympics since the 2008 Summer Games were held in Beijing and much has changed over the course of four years. The 2012 Games are being proclaimed by many as the first social-media Olympics, so this is sure to be one of many posts that I'll write.
Longtime sponsor of the Olympics, Visa, has launched their first "social-by-design" integrated marketing campaign for the Games, Go World. The "global cheer" campaign is the largest in Visa's 25 year history as a sponsor of the Olympic Games.
The initial thinking behind the campaign came about during some early brainstorming sessions. The marketing group together with their agency team realized that this summer many fans will likely be cheering for the athletes through social-media channels, so why not organize the cheering and own it? Visa then turned to its own Olympic focus group, the 60 Olympic athletes who make up Team Visa, which include swimmer Michael Phelps, runner Lopez Lomong and tennis player Li Na. The athletes told Visa that cheers, in fact, do make a difference.
You've probably already seen the TV ad for the campaign. It has that familiar voice, narrated by Morgan Freeman, and features several iconic moments in Olympic history. Here it is:
The campaign's focus is to turn the passion of fans into online cheers that will help inspire the more than 60 Visa-sponsored athletes (Team Visa), as they prepare for and compete at the Games. Fans can upload a text, photo or video cheer they've created for the athletes. Visa's Facebook page is the global hub which is collecting all the consumer-submitted cheers along with responses and videos from athletes and their stories and training. Fans can also submit "one-click cheers" on Visa's YouTube channel and through partner websites including NBCOlympics.com, Yahoo! and Sports Illustrated. Over the next several months, Team Visa athletes are expected to also reach out to their social networks with stories and updates on how the encouragement from fans is helping them.
The Visa Facebook app allows people to view the cheers either by Top Cheers, Athletes, Country or Sport. There is also the Visa 2012 Fan Inclusion Contest which will choose up to 28 video or photo cheer submissions as winners. There are four separate contest entry periods and 7 winners from each period will be chosen. Each winner will receive $5,500 and may have his or her video or photo included in a Visa television commercial for the London 2012 Olympic Games. This contest is only open to residents of the U.S. and ends on June 15, the same time the Global Cheer submissions will end.
Of course there is also a sweepstakes for a chance to win one of two trips to London to see the Games. Participants can enter daily up till June 10 but must be residents of the U.S. and Like the Visa Facebook page. Trip includes airfare, hotel and event tickets. I just entered!
Visa has stated that they will measure the success of the campaign using several traditional business metrics such as transactions, card activations and usage. They also measure brand metrics such as awareness and perception as well as the satisfaction of their merchants and banks. Social engagement is a particularly important measure in this campaign which will include likes, video views, uploads of cheers and shares to gauge success. Right now their Facebook Go World App says over 7.3 million global cheers have been uploaded. It appears to be off to a very good start.