Monday, August 25, 2008

Looking at the Olympic commercials

Although I know logically commercials are only there to entice you, make money off of you, hoping that you'll be swayed by its contents to buy their products, but I still couldn't help but watch them during the Olympics. Of course, it's the only way, they really have to fill in the gaps between the events. Advertisers know that the majority of the people (2/3 worldwide) viewing the Olympics are not watching just for the commercials. (I'd say the Superbowl wins that title) Instead, they pay millions of dollars for a coveted ad spot in hopes that you'll see their ad, be persuaded, and buy their product. Amazing how commercialization works.

With that said, here's a rundown of some of the commercials featured. McDonald's had quite a few since they were the "restaurant for the Games." It helped that athletes like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt loved McDonald's products. Here's one of the ads. Don't you love that they have that girl with the ripped ads? I guess she got those by eating McDonald's.

McDonald's also showed a more touching side with this ad entitled "Layover" where the African-American boy shares his McNuggets with a Muslim little girl.

Then there was Coke who has been a longtime sponsor of the Olympics. One of the commercials this year looked at cultural stereotypes between the Chinese and Americans. The ad featured basketball stars LeBron James and Yao Ming, taking a break from basketball and "united" by drinking coke.

Coke also showed this one which I really liked, despite the fact that I no longer drink Coke or any soft drink for that matter.

Home Depot also aired several commercials throughout the Olympics, demonstrating their Job Opportunities Program in helping athletes. I think I saw something like 660 athletes, 180 medals, in one of their last commercials during the closing ceremonies.

VISA Gold ran a lot of commercials throughout the Olympics, showcasing various athletes in both triumph and heartache. Besides the music and graphics, VISA made a great choice in using Morgan Freeman for the voice. I'm still trying to figure out how they showed the VISA Gold commercial congratulating Phelps on his eight Olympic medals literally right after he won. I'm thinking it had to have been pre-made. I posed this question to my dad, and all he said was, "well, Morgan Freeman is out of the hospital you know." Okay, and that signifies? Despite these technical questions, I really liked the VISA Gold ads. I thought they showed true "Olympic" spirit.

I don't know how I missed this commercial by Nike. Or maybe I did see it, but it went by so fast? Who knows, but it's a great tribute to the Olympics with a cool song!

Although Budweiser is more known for sponsoring the Superbowl, the Olympics did air one of the popular Clydesdale horse ads. In this one, "Thunder" doesn't get chosen for the team. However, with coaching from the Dalmatian and his hard work, he perseveres and makes the team. How can you not win the hearts of America with dogs, horses, and the "Gonna Fly" song from the movie, Rocky. Actually, I have that on my ipod. I use it when I need inspiration, running up a big hill. I imagine myself like Rocky when he climbs the Philadelphia stairs and reaches the top! It works most of the time.

And lastly, if you can't wait for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver , there is already a commercial promoting it. This is the first time I've seen it. Maybe those of you in Canada have already seen it. Kids plus winter attire, showing off the winter sports equals cuteness!

Whew, that took a lot of editing!
My apologizes to those who are on google reader and had to see these posts separately. I was trying to edit and condense them all into one, but it posted them anyway.


Lisa said...

Great post! I cracked up during the little boy/little Muslim girl commercial. Because the road to peace and understanding is paved with gummy bits of breaded chicken.

I admit, I got a little verklempt during Coke's "if you've had a coke in the last 80 years" commercial. Then again, I once cried during an episode of The Simpsons.

Tiptoe said...

Lisa, glad you liked the post. Yes, the McDonald's "Layover" commercial is humorous. I thought similar things too.