Old Spice Opens Olympics with PR Gold

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By James F. Thompson Comment

The 2012 London Olympics may not officially begin for another few days, but our industry’s analysis of the Olympic commercials, celebrities, logo, events, security issues and PR campaigns has been underway for years. All of the build up and excitement has led to this long-anticipated week, which will showcase not only the hard work and discipline of athletes, but also the advertising and PR agencies behind the Olympics: the countless, nameless folks who have struggled with brand identity and public perception and thrown erasers at whiteboards and kicked mock ups of their brilliance down hallways full of concerned colleagues. So, who is winning early in the 2012 PR Olympics? Old Spice is off to a solid start.

Creating a positive bond with the public poses a myriad of challenges, but creating a deep affiliation between athletes and the public is helped by a common association, typically via a geographic region—how else could a 313-pound couch potato feel he has anything in common with a 175-pound baseball player? Why, we’re all New Yorkers, of course. Or Chicagoans. Or San Franciscans, etc. For the Olympics, we’re all Americans. But Old Spice has taken a novel approach by, instead of pushing our usual patriotic buttons, appealing directly to the hilarity of the notion that any of us could be Olympic athletes. Or heros. Or premium table cracker makers.

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