Rio is a major stage not just for athletes, but also for advertisers. And for people in the industry, like us, it’s an opportunity to see new and exciting ads! But we’re not just interested in the beautiful visuals- it is also fascinating to see both what demographic a company is actively pursuing, and assess how well we think they’re reaching their chosen market.
We’ve chosen three of the ads being shown in prime time here in the US; two we love, and one that we think is a great ad, but maybe missing the mark.
“One Journey, Two Teams” – United Airlines
We love this ad. It manages to use the athletes in a way that showcases their serious athletic prowess in a playful way. And by using many different sports, it’s guaranteed to amuse a swathe of different demographics, which is the point here. As a company, United is clearly trying to appeal to every possible consumer watching the Olympics, and we believe they’ve done it really successfully.
“Thank you, Mom” – P&G
This is our second thumbs up— and in fact, it’s both Meredith and Melissa’s favorite. Here we have another ad that is very dialed into what people are already interested in: our team. As a company whose flagship brands are household goods, P&G is making it very personal, taking the viewers into the homes of those athletes without any product placement. After all, everyone has a Mom, or some mother figure in their life, tugging on that particular heart-string resonates with pretty much all of the demographics watching. Additionally, Mom tends to be associated with home and hearth- P&G’s product space.
“Free up space” – Google Photos
This is a very funny ad, but as one whose goal is to cross age, gender and socio-economic lines, we don’t feel it’s as successful. Their challenge lies partially in the product itself: it’s most useful to people with smartphones, large data plans, and a penchant for nice vacations or exciting activities. And the ad cleverly plays to all of those things; however, that automatically establishes barriers to engagement. Maybe if they had leveraged the idea of Rio memories and unmissable moments, they could have found a universal way to reach the entire viewership.