Tokyo Olympics: Top Advertisers Across Digital Channels
There may not be any spectators at the Tokyo Olympics this year, but the show will go on, and the advertisers are here for it. From television to OTT to digital, brands have had an extra year to gear up for the worldwide Summer event, and are using the opportunity to gain the attention of a public who, after a long 15 months, are looking for something to celebrate.
Between official sponsorship opportunities and general Team-USA cheer, advertisers have a lot to work with when it comes to Olympic themed advertising--and they've shown up in full force this year.
In the past 30 days*, Pathmatics Explorer has counted nearly 700 unique creatives related to the 2021 Olympics, with more than $4.4 Million dollars spent on Olympics-themed digital ads. Since mid-June, digital ads using Olympics keywords in the United States (i.e. Team USA, Simone Biles, Olympics, and others) have increased by 5x.
Top keywords include TeamUSA, Olympics, Tokyo, and...Xfinity Internet. Top images definitely include Simone Biles. We can't officially track that, but you'll have to trust us.
Comcast and NBC lead in digital ad spend
Comcast's Xfinity is the leader of the pack, using it's official Team USA sponsorship to remind consumers that they'll probably want to up those wi-fi speeds before watching the games. Comcast has spent more than $1.4 Million on Olympics ads so far, and the games haven't even started yet.
NBC, of course, is a top Olympics advertiser, allocating more than $590,000 to Olympics ads in the past 30 days. 77% of budget was squarely focused on Desktop Video ads--most of which were placed on NBC-owned sites.
The majority of these ads share the same landing page (www.nbcolympics.com). New creatives released in the days before the opening ceremonies also include a date and time to watch the event, which is a trend we'll be looking for in the coming week as marquee events, including Gymnastics, begin to take place.
What they don't include, is a link or prompt to download the NBC sports app in order to stream the games, something we expected to see much more of given the meteoric rise of OTT platforms in the past 18 months. Nevertheless, data from Sensor Tower shows a 311% increase in NBC sports app installs week over week in the two weeks prior to the start of the games.*
Peacock's Olympics acquisition strategy
Speaking of streaming, NBC's Peacock joined the Olympics ad party fashionably late. The first Olympics ad includes a budget of $15 K for a video creative on June 27 (this one ran on non-NBC sites like eater.com and nypost.com) that states "Peacock's the place to get ready for the Tokyo Olympics" and features clips of various athlete documentaries.
The next series of Olympics ads don't appear until 7/15, when Peacock nearly doubles spending on Olympics video ads, introducing more than 20 new creatives over a 5 day time period.
These ads, all centered around gymnastics and basketball--and a few cameos from the Jonas Brothers--are meant to drive app installs, using the CTA "Sign up now." And it's working, as Sensor Tower data has seen app installs for Peacock grow 23% week over week in July.**
Top Olympics Advertisers
Aside from NBC-affiliated brands, the top 3 Olympics advertisers on digital are:
1. Eli Lilly & Company
The brand spent more than $350k on their top 5 Olympics creatives across Twitter and YouTube, utilizing their Team USA sponsorship and cameos from Team USA athletes.
2. Proctor & Gamble
Top Olympics creatives for P&G were centered around beauty brand SK-II's "#changedestiny VS series." Animated videos feature gymnast Simone Biles and Surfer Mahina Maeda, with music from John Legend.
The series features a landing page with more animated videos and a few athlete spotlights. And of course, a note on some SK-II products you may love. SK-II also features Biles in a more standard product commercial for SK-II's facial essence, though the animated videos account for about half of the brand's top 10 creatives, and have brought in many more impressions. The top site for these videos, with 61% of spend share? Hollywoodreporter.com.
3. Mondelez International
Unlike most Olympics ads we've covered, top creatives for Mondalez are all on Twitter. But like most ads we've seen, at least half of them feature Simone Biles. Chips Ahoy and Ritz Crackers take center stage in these brand-awareness ads, and the message is simple: We aren't all Olympians, but we all like to eat.
Simone is featured in the Ritz and Oreo ads. But this video ad featuring Tom Schaar has already garnered 34.2 M impressions, and counting. Anyone need a snack?
With the opening ceremonies airing tonight, we'll be watching for new Olympics creatives over the coming weeks. Did we miss any of your Simone Biles' favorites? Keep an eye out, but please--don't try a double twisting double layout in your living room. You can save that for the pros.
*Data from Pathmatics Explorer, June 21-July 21, 2021
**Data from Sensor Tower compares July 19-22 vs. July 12-15, 2021.
With over a decade of experience across digital marketing, content, creative, and PR, Sarah is a creative and dynamic thinker who loves to delight clients with unique and relatable content. Sarah graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Sociology.