Top Olympics Branded Social Content Uses Similar Strategy to Drive Engagement

Published on Aug 10th, 2016

The most-engaged Olympics branded social media content has one thing in common: they don’t mention the Olympics.

Instead, brands use subtle references to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with their products.

Chobani produced one of the most-engaged Facebook posts related to the Olympics since they began last Friday by invoking the American flag with its yogurt and fruit. The post has generated nearly 57,000 actions more than 4x more than its average post in 2016.

Other consumer brands and quick-serve restaurants used the same strategy to generate engagement on Facebook.

Krispy Kreme posted a video of it donuts moving around a conveyer belt inside a stadium, like the opening ceremony. Jamba Juice posted a photo of countries flags sticking out of different types of drinks. Whataburger referenced the Olympic podium in a post about its golden french fries. The Cheesecake Factory noted that it wouldn’t be the only one using a torch when it posted about its meringue cheesecakes on the day of the opening ceremony. And like Chobani, Shari’s Berries also invoked American pride in a post on the day the Olympics began.

Sports Brands Capitalize on the Olympics

Another example of this subtlety is Nike’s newest ad in the “Just Do It - Unlimited” campaign, which first aired during the opening ceremony.

The video, which includes youth and professional athletes participating in Olympic sports, has generated nearly 95,000 actions and 5.2 million views on Facebook. That’s significantly more engagement than Nike’s average Facebook post, which have generated nearly 13,000 actions year to date.

The full video was also posted to Twitter and a 1-minute version was posted to Instagram . Both were among Nike’s most-engaged posts since the Olympics began.

Nike also posted an ad featuring Chris Mosier, the first transgender member of the U.S. National Team, as part of the "Just Do It - Unlimited" campaign. Mosier, a duathlete, isn’t competing in the Olympics, but represented Team USA at the International Triathlon Union Duathlon World Championship in June.

The video has nearly 27,000 actions and 1.9 million views on Facebook. It’s also been posted to Twitter and Instagram .

Adidas also launched its own campaign that makes subtle references to the Olympics, which was particularly successful on Instagram. #speedtakes was launched just before the games began and features its athletes who participate in Olympic sports like tennis , cycling and gymnastics , but doesn’t name them.

Fashion Brands Capitalize on Sponsorships

Several fashion brands designed uniforms and/or the outfits that Olympic teams wore during the Opening Ceremonies, including Ralph Lauren for the USA and Armani for Italy. Both featured images of athletes in their home countries wearing the clothing they designed for the opening ceremony and the most-engaged posts featured athletes carrying the flags of each country.

But these were less subtle than H&M, the Swedish clothing brand that designed the uniforms and opening ceremony outfits for Sweden’s Olympic team. Instead of posting images of the team and mentioning its sponsorship, H&M’s most-engaged Instagram content were regrams of the Swedish team’s posts during the opening ceremony.

While the photos it regrammed were similar to those posted by Ralph Lauren and Armani, you wouldn’t necessarily know H&M had anything to do with the Swedish team at first glance.

H&M’s pride in its home country athletes and subtle Instagram ad has generated more than 134,000 actions, which has outpaced its post average of 112,000 on the platform this year.

If you're a brand looking to amplify your messaging with social content about the Olympics, take a cue from these brands and try incorporating your products into posts in clever ways without mentioning the games in Rio.

We'll continue producing more Olympics content throughout the games. Check back with the Shareablee blog for more.

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