With the Winter Olympics a few weeks behind us, I must ask: did you buy anything you saw advertised on TV during the Olympics solely because you saw it during the Olympics?
I vaguely remember car commercials: were they for Chevrolet? I don’t know because I didn’t buy a car due to its appearance on TV.
How about beer? There were lots of those commercials. Which brand? I don’t remember because I don’t drink beer.
Then there was that one movie preview I kept seeing. I think it was The Da Vinci Code. This one did look promising. I’ll have to add it to my list of movies to see.
Of the four commercials I can remember, I will most likely take action on one of them (the movie). Why is that? Because TV commercials are too broadly targeted.
As Seth Godin communicates in his book Purple Cow, mass marketing is useless. Companies spent millions of dollars on Olympic advertising and sponsorship to questionable financial benefit.
Commercials during the Olympics, while ineffective in swaying you to purchase new products, did hammer the companies’ brand into your head. This may just leave customers thinking: “oh, I already do business with company XYZ. That’s nice that they sponsored our Olympic team.”
You may say that sponsoring the Olympic team is a noble and charitable endeavor. Absolutely. Guy Kawasaki in his Art of the Start reminds us that we should give back to the community by being a Mensch. Give charitably because it is the right thing to do, not because you think you’ll gain business because of it!