In Archetypes, Events, Explorer, Hero

Gold-worthy advertising

The Olympics serve as a playing field for the world’s best athletes and their talented advertising teams. Accordingly, advertising campaigns are geared up with this year’s winning play – a good story.

Big players at Sochi 2014

It’s no secret that nationalism hits a high note during times of Olympic competition. Coming together under the unified race for the gold is something everyone can get behind. As you would expect, concerted efforts have been in motion to rally up the proverbial troops. The British Broadcasting Channel (BBC), for example, has created a promotional commercial that sets the epic tone for what viewers can expect in this year’s winter games.

Do you have goosebumps yet?

The narrator in the video is actually Charles Dance of HBO’s Game of Thrones. We hear his dark, cold voice as it forebodes over the icy slopes of the ominous mountain. Then, we are introduced to the powerful athletes climbing the untamed slopes. There’s no other word to describe it other than…badass.

If that didn’t hype you up for the winter games, check out an eerily similar video produced for the Canadian Olympic Team.

Both of the videos speak to the epic magnitude of becoming an Olympian. The image of the lone athlete marching up the mountain, through snow, with gear on his back, serves as a human monument to the training the athletes undertake.

Marketing Champions

How do you brand an Olympic team? Each year creative communications teams take on the challenge to define how the world should see their nation’s athletes. As the ultra-similar ads for Britain and Canada demonstrate, there are few commonalities we’re likely to see repeat as more advertisements roll out:

  • Established stories of athletes trialed and tested by training, personified by harsh winter conditions.
  • Winter conditions used as a metaphor for the games. The Canadian advertisement goes as far as using the slogan ‘we are winter’.
  • Storylines of teams stocked with fearless competitors, marching up rugged terrain with no second thoughts.
  • A Morgan Freeman-like voiceover.

Only a powerful story has the ability to leave you with a shiver in your spine and a never before felt love for arctic conditions. These ads make an impression. They inspire that heroic feeling we all have deep inside us. Now, let’s see how the actual teams live up to this archetypal role.

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