The Winter Olympics as a PR Enthusiast


This past week, the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea officially came to a bittersweet end. There will be no more staying up way too late around the television with friends and family seeing if the United States can come away with the gold. No more anxiously checking social media to see if so-and-so did as well as predicted. And no more pretending to be experts in sports we only watch every four years during the Winter Olympics.

However, now that the closing ceremonies are over and the athletes have gone home, many brands are reaping the benefits of Olympic advertising and analyzing how social media played a role in the 2018 Winter Games. Corinne Cuthsbertson, brand advertising and digital marketing executive for SunTrust said, “…there’s an [average] 83-percent increase in brand memorability after the Olympics ends.”

Brands going into the two weeks of the Olympics focused on brand story-telling of the themes of unity, sportsmanship and equality as seen by Toyota’s new global brand positioning, “Start Your Impossible.” This campaign is working to promote Toyota as an “mobility” company, not just another generic car company. They do this through focusing on some Paralympic athletes and highlighting some of their new mobility technologies they have been working to develop.

From a social media perspective, Snapchat and Twitter have provided unique ways of connecting with people during the Olympics. Snapchat, through their partnership with NBC has connected more features, including a live Snapchat feed that lasted close to six minutes at least once a day as well as other news coverage. This allows NBC to connect with many millennials who may not have a television in their dorm room or apartment.

Twitter has provided a unique aspect of branding for the Olympics through famous people and influencers tweeting live about the games. This again relates to the idea of unity that the Olympics fosters, as people from many different backgrounds can interact through such a flexible platform.

As technology continues to change and evolve, platforms and brands will alter the ways they present their content during the Olympics. For that, we must wait until Summer 2020 in Tokyo. This being said, I believe that the themes of unity, sportsmanship, and equality will continue to be forefront, truly encapsulating what the Olympic games are about.



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