2016 Olympic Advertising

Thanks to some Herculean feats by the illustrious organizers of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad – and over 11,000 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees, including first-time entrants Kosovo and South Sudan – we have witnessed quite a show over the past several days. Haven’t we?

Technically, I was among the first people complaining about the blinding number and frequency of commercials aired during the Opening Ceremony; wow. In the early going, that programming approach stole the show in many ways, from my point of view – but I must admit that we all rely on advertising and sponsorship to a great extent to allow us to experience the Olympics. Since my clients are craftspeople of the highest order producing spectacular commercials and branded content, I can appreciate the value of creative advertising… but I agree with the broadcasters’ latest assessments, which have been forced to acknowledge how much viewers’ tastes have changed.

Synchronized with the broadcast of the Opening Ceremony from the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics on Aug. 5, my friend Ann Christine Diaz published this story in Ad Age, highlighting many of the major brands who bought time, so that NBC’s viewers could watch the show for free: Read more


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