While the Olympics is an opportunity for us to truly appreciate the greatest athletes in the world, it’s also a chance for advertisers to demonstrate their creativity, innovation, passion, and inspire us just like our athletes will.So with the 2016 RIO Olympics officially kicked off, we decided to put together a list of arguably the best and most iconic Olympic ad campaigns to date. These are simply some of our favourites, in no particular order, so please don't take them as gospel.
We hope you enjoy.
2016 RIO - Under Armour
You may recognise Under Armours "Rule Yourself" ad starring Michael Phelps', which went viral in March this year. The ad is a lasting tribute to Michael Phelps, one of the greatest Olympic athletes, competing in his last Olympic games. Incredibly, the ad has already been watched over 5 million times on youtube!
2012 London - Nike
Nike’s ‘Find Your Greatness’ campaign is incredibly simplistic, yet makes an amazing impact. Nike decided to avoid the use of heavy Olympic imagery due to the strict advertising rulings in place at the London Olympics. Nevertheless, the ad speaks volumes and is yet another great example of how less can be more.
2004 Athens - Visa
Visa decided to sponsor Michel Phelps after his first Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000. Reflecting on it, it was a pretty good decision considering the champion went on to win a record-setting eight gold medals!
2012 LONDON - P&G
Finding a creative way around the strict advertising rules set at the 2012 London Olympics, Procter and Gamble were able to create, what is regard by many to be the greatest Olympic ad of all time; a commercial simply titled ‘Mom.'
Instead of focusing on the athletes, the ad looks at the role mothers play in the lives of Olympic competitors, ending with the tagline, ‘Thank You, Mom’.
2014 Sochi - P&G
Procter and Gamble’s "Mom" campaign makes a comeback, this time at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Look out for a remake of the ad at RIO!
1992 Barcelona - Mcdonald’s
They were considered rock stars in their first Olympics meet, and they certainly did not disappoint on the court... their acting though did leave a little to the imagination. Nevertheless, McDonald’s were able to capitalise on the hype and fame surrounding the 1992 American Basketball Team dubbed the 'Dream Team'. The "Meet the Team" commercial was played in the lead up to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and it featured some key members of the USA’s Dream Team; including Michael Jordan!
2000 Sydney - Westpac
A lighter hearted look at the Olympics by one of Australia's largest banks. Westpac was able to use humour to their advantage by having family members of athletes to participate in the same events of their sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, etc. A great ad and very well put together.
1998 Nagano Winter Olympics
An emotionally charged ad that explores the city of Sarajevo as it hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics, comparing the joyous event to the horror and destruction the city went through during the Yugoslav civil war. This ad was nominated for an Emmy and is arguably one of the most powerful ads every put together.
2008 Beijing - Visa “Go World.”
The 2008 Visa “Go World” campaigns highlighted some of the most unforgettable Olympic moments in history. The example below centres around Derek Redmond, a 400-meter runner at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. If you haven't seen the ad yet make sure you have a box of tissues handy... as the ad is a truly emotional and touching tribute.
1998 Nagano Winter Olympics - IBM
An amazing and comical ad that explores the effect of the Internet on media and sport. Who would have thought that almost 20 years later, the Internet would entirely shape, and evolve our lives in such an incredible way.
Have we left your favourite off the list? Let us know in the comments below.