Who took home the gold during the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony?

The world watched on Friday, August 5th, as NBC kicked off the 2016 Rio Olympics. As athletes were getting ready to go for the gold, advertisers were doing the same. 37 advertisers aired a total of 44 messages as they competed for viewer attention throughout the opening ceremony. The overall amount of ad time, including promotional announcements from NBC, was 34 ½ minutes, 17 percent less than the 2012 London Opening Ceremony.

Advertising expenditures reached a total of $42.1 million. More than half of the spend ($24.6 million) came from official Worldwide or US Olympics sponsors.

BMW, Samsung and P&G tied for highest overall spenders during the broadcast. Each advertiser spent $2.8 million on 2 minutes of advertising,with Samsung airing one extra-long 90-second ad. P&G and Samsung used Olympic themed creatives during the event. The only mention of the Olympics in BMW’s creatives were the Olympic/Paralympic sponsor logos, along with a Paralympic cyclist speeding across the screen at the end of the spot.

P&G promoted three of its brands during the opening ceremony: Tide, Gillette and Folgers. Each brand took a different approach to their messaging. Gillette and Tide featured two well-known Olympic athletes, while Folgers used an actor portraying an Olympic athlete.

The first of the three spots to air was from Tide which featured American gymnast Simone Biles. The ad shows various instances of her strength while stating that even though she is small, she is powerful – just like Tide pods. Next came the Folgers creative, the most heartfelt of P&G’s three spots, depicting an athlete with his coach though the years and a voice-over stating “Olympic glory doesn’t just belong to athletes, and it doesn’t just happen every four years. It happens one morning at a time.” Lastly, Gillette featured Brazilian soccer star Neymar shaving in front of a mirror followed by clips of several athletes practicing and the copy “The best a man can get isn't always pretty, but always worth the chase” appearing on the screen.

Samsung took a less direct approach than P&G in tying its creative to the games. In a 90 second spot, actor Christopher Waltz dressed up as different characters such as busy mom or world champion runner all while discussing how much Americans work and are always striving to be the best. While this commercial didn’t directly mention the Olympics, it did imply that Americans are always going for the gold. The commercial wraps up with Waltz stating that the Galaxy Note 7 is perfect for busy Americans like these.

Non-sponsor Universal Pictures also found a clever way to give its creative an Olympics undertone. For promotion of upcoming film ‘Sing,’ the ad uses the phrase “Sing for the Gold,” and shows clips of characters singing competitive songs such as Eye of the Tiger. As non-sponsors are prohibited from mentioning the term Olympics in their advertising, this was Universal’s was to remedy the situation and to tie itself to the games.

Competition Within Categories

Out of 14 categories that made appearances during the opening ceremony, the top three categories made up 52 percent of spend and 46 percent of advertisers.

Nine auto advertisers competed for share of voice during the 4½ hour broadcast. Together they were responsible for 8½ minutes of airtime, 25 percent of all advertising. As one of the top advertisers overall, BMW took the gold medal for the category as well.

The food & beverage category came in second in terms of spend, with five advertisers within the category. Another top advertiser, Coca-Cola, came in first here.

The retail category was third in terms of spend which was split evenly between three advertisers. Dicks Sporting Goods, Nike, and Walmart each spent $1.4 million on advertising.

We will be continuing to monitor the Olympics and release insights. Make sure to check back for more information as the games continue.

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