What do Visa, the Olympics, and Facebook all have in common? The answer is “Cheer”—Visa’s new social media campaign, which will debut at the London Olympic Games.
In the campaign, Visa asks consumers to upload text, photo, and video “cheers” for favorite Olympic athletes. To make the campaign even more meaningful, Visa first turned to Team Visa—a group of 60 notable Olympic athletes, including Michael Phelps, Lopez Lomong, Li Na, and Kerri Walsh. The athletes explained that their social network groups provide them with significant motivation and inspiration. In this spirit, Visa is trying to capture and promote enthusiasm and excitement in its ad campaign. It also hopes to encourage the idea that fans make the difference between the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat for the athletes they support. In working toward a shared experience for consumers, the campaign will cross all forms of media and appear in at least 70 countries.
The new campaign also represents an extension of Visa’s “Go World” theme from the 2008 Olympics—a highly successful campaign that gave Visa a great return on its investment, especially in comparison with its non-Olympic campaigns. The sonorous voice of actor Morgan Freeman again will narrate the commercials. To measure its success, Visa plans to look at transactions, card activations and uses, brand equity measures, and customer satisfaction, as well as levels of social engagement.
In addition to uploading video cheers to Visa’s Facebook page, consumers are encouraged to submit one-click cheers. The Facebook page will stream videos about the athletes’ backgrounds, stories of their life experiences, and examples of their intensive training regimens. Beyond just Visa’s efforts, social media is expected to play a massive role in the upcoming Olympics, particularly in comparison with the last go-round. In 2008, Facebook had 100 million users and Twitter had 6 million; today, these numbers have risen to 900 million and 100 million, respectively. Both social media services also have been designed by the International Olympic Committee as online Olympic Athletes’ Hubs. In this sense, Visa’s creative concept reflects the current marketing trend of integrating social media into mainstream advertising practice.
1. Why do companies create new advertising plans in association with major events such as the Olympics?
2. Define the type of advertising strategy that Visa is demonstrating in its “Cheer” campaign.
source: Beth Snyder Bulik, “Visa’s ‘Social-by-Design’ Effort Makes Its Debut on Global Stage,” Advertising Age, May 28, 2012.
Alex Freeman said:
It is interesting to witness in my classmates and my generation how much of an impact social media has. In this specific article, it is highlighting the positive effects of social media, but sometimes people wonder if there are more negative than positive effects that social media websites provide. In this article attached, it is researched that close to 22% of Americans spend their time searching online by using social media websites. This is amazing to see and shows how important it is for people in the marketing world to realize where our generation is head; towards technology becoming a main part of everyday life and replacing items such as newspapers and books.
Gary Jiang said:
I personally think the strategy that Visa’s Cheer campaign is very simple in essence but extremely powerful because it was executed very well. Social media is all about interaction between the business and the consumer, we’re in an age where businesses can no longer press consumers forcibly into purchasing. Also the fact that Visa enlisted the help of many high profile Olympic athletes, this provided for them the initial push into vast realm of social networks.
Blair Ginden said:
Companies use new advertising campaigns for events such as the Olympics because they can reach such a large audience. The Olympics brings people together. People that are not into athletics come together to support their nation and watch NBC’s various channels to keep up to date with the games. By creating a special campaign for a special event such as this, companies are working to reach as many people as they can, and as Visa realized, this can be most easily done through social media. This summer I did not have much of a chance to sit down and watch the Olympics, but I got the updates sent to my phone so I could stay up to date on the games. Many people were able to be more involved in the games through the NBC Olympics apps for the iPhone and through following London 2012 on Twitter. This social campaign strategy that Visa used was perfect for the demographic they were reaching out to. The current generation that, as some parents would say, is connected to their cell phones, may not have a chance to sit to watch an entire Olympic event, but they can still cheer on their favorite athlete via Twitter or Facebook. This is a social strategy because it spreads among people by others talking about it and spreading it throughout social media sites.
C Arias said:
New events allow for new markets to be reached by companies. The Olympics is watched by different segments and companies can take advantage of that and advertise in order to reach new markets and expand their customer base. Visa is demonstrating a social-media strategy with its “Cheer” campaign as it hopes to get customers to engage in posting videos and commenting to provide inspiration for the athletes. As customers interact with the social media platforms word-of-mouth is spread and visa can grow.
Justin Laurenzo said:
I found an article in my email from my internship over the summer about the connection between social media and the Olympics, and how much social media has grown – particularly Twitter – over the 4 years since Beijing in 2008. The article just shows how much of a growing part of our lives social media has already become, and will continue to be in the future. Additionally, it was really fascinating to see how the athletes interacted with their fans, competitors, fellow Olympians, and other sponsors. Social media connects everyone while “foster[ing] constant communication, as evidenced by what we saw throughout the 2012 games. Furthermore, I used this article as a warning to my employees about the dangers of overselling or becoming too “salesy” across the social media platforms, because part of my job was to help develop the company’s use of social media in the business world while teaching them how it should (or shouldn’t be used)
Here is a link to the article ‘The Social Media Games’: How hashtags and likes are shaping London 2012 – http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/01/sport/olympics-2012-social-media-london