Olympic sized over-kill

In case you hadn’t heard yet, the Olympics are coming to London. When I say heard, what I mean been bombarded with more event anchored advertising than has ever graced our TV screens. Of course it is an exciting event, but like all exciting events which come round periodically, New Years’ Eve, Christmas, The World Cup etc. etc. The size of the hype is almost always reflective of the scope of the let-down.

Ok, so it makes sense for sports retailers, energy drink makers, deodorant manufacturers to cash in on this free marketing idea to some degree, although the client base is still rather limited… we are not all highly tuned athletes. What is absolutely incomprehendable however, is why feminine hygiene product brands, chocolate makers and fast food chains have jumped on the bandwagon.

Cadbury have even gone so far as to steal the Willy Wonka golden ticket idea. If it isn’t enough that the most underprivileged are already arguably squeezed out of the games by the laughable raffle and overpricing, now they are being sucked into ludicrous competitions, by products which will leave them feeling more like Augustus Gloop than Charlie Bucket. Hardly the fair competition and healthy living that our championed Olympians seek to promote throughout the games.

As a follow up point… McDonalds. The chain that made America the fattest nation on earth (and the UK must not be far behind by now) are also using a sporting event in which the majority of their most treasured patrons would never have a hope in fitting in the stand’s seats let alone competing. Unless of course Sumo Wrestling is introduced…. then they’re in!

Then there are the shampoos. Head and Shoulders claim to wash in confidence as well as wash out dandruff. A clean scalp must be pretty important for a swimmer, but saying that, the flakes could spray into the lane of your opponent, giving you a certain advantage. This little scenario is about as likely as the advert drumming up new clients and support for the games.

Coming up with new marketing strategies for products which absorb the menstrual blood of feisty females cannot be the easiest job. But doing it by putting a woman athlete in tight little white pants (which no woman in their right mind would ware near the time of the month) and suggesting she would be rendered incapable without that particular product is frankly insulting.

Lloyds TSB provides the most tenuous link, as opposed to the hypocrisy of Mr Cadbury and Ronald. They do however seem to have some sort of charitable remit working with school kids, so their advert is forgivable even if still like all the others, easily forgettable.

Many advertising agents just threw the Olympic torch in for the heck of it. P&G the company behind, Aerial, Braun, and many other household names, have gone as far to fashion their own medal and chuck it on the end of all of their ads, although the ‘protecting your colours’ is a rather charming idea comparative to other offerings.

Having the games stuffed down one’s neck at every opportunity is certainly not akin with drumming up enthusiasm for the games. Personally it has quite the opposite effect. It is a shame that the Olympics are likely to suffer the same fate as all the other celebrated times of the year, and be a cataclysmic anti-climax due to the over-kill whipped up for the purposes of consumerism.


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