Marketing

With each Olympic season, every host country, sponsor and athlete pulls out all the stops to make a mark on sporting history. But four years is a long time in the digital world. Just think, during the London 2012 Olympics, Snapchat was less than a year old, the modern selfie stick was only in a patent form and you wouldn’t find virtual reality technology at JB Hi-Fi. Compare that to the trends and technologies being launched at the Rio 2016 Olympic games, you’ll see that the digital landscape has evolved rapidly!

GalaxyS7edge_RioOlympic_Main_1Immersive Content

Android users couldn’t even download Snapchat during London 2012. But now, authentic content captured in the thick of the moment are engaging consumers more than ever. Whether it’s live capturing on Snapchat or Instagram, or broadcasting on Facebook Live, these personal moments are being shared by athletes, participants and spectators at the games. Samsung, a major sponsor of the Rio 2016 Olympic games, jumped on this consumer behaviour quickly. The tech giant gave every athlete at the Games with a special edition Galaxy s7 edge! So if you look back at the Opening Ceremony broadcast, you won’t see any Apple products being waved around by marching athletes. You’re probably wishing you were there now, right? The good news is, you can be (almost). The Samsung Gear VR launched last year and the Olympics is one of its first major ventures into mainstream consumption. If you’re blessed with a Samsung Gear VR, you can experience hours of virtual reality content – including the Opening Ceremony!

Streaming Services

Four years ago, (legal) streaming services in Australia were only available to Foxtel subscribers; or consumers that fake their way into Netflix subscriptions. Fast-forward to the present day and you are faced with a selection of streaming providers – including Stan and other add-on services from established TV networks.

So unsurprisingly, TV viewership in Australia for the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony dipped since 2012. But the official Australian broadcasters, Channel Seven, managed to capture some of these stray audiences with their official live-streaming service and app for mobile devices. In fact, for the ceremony’s second-day broadcast, Seven raked in 2.8 million streaming views!

Consumer Reception

Just minutes into the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony, US broadcaster NBC caught a lot of flack for their TV coverage. For one, NBC chose delay the broadcast by an hour – supposedly so they could better curate the broadcast content. But the fact that viewers were now forced to sit through ads was the last straw. In reality, advertising saturation remained relatively consistent with previous years. But with so much content on TV and radio being also available online, audiences are now accustomed to getting their content whenever they want, wherever they want and however they wanted it.

No matter if they are athletes, organisations or spectators, all those involved will want to showcase the best version of them – both offline and online – on a world stage like the Olympics. While not all businesses have the budget to sponsor an international event, we can already learn a lot from these brands and emerging trends in digital content strategy. For one, content quality is non-negotiable. Secondly, you only have a couple of seconds to impress your audience before they switch off their engagement. And finally, understanding your target audience’s behaviour will help shape an effective strategy for when and where to put your brand’s content in front of them.

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