Best Olympic Ads - Golden Marketing Opportunities

Connor Tomlinson

Jul 09, 2024 . 7 minutes read

Best olympic ads of all time

With the world's most famous sporting event taking place this summer in Paris, the opportunity for gold is on the line, but, if you play your cards right, so is marketing success.

The summer Olympic and Paralympic games have provided some of the most electrifying moments in sporting history, even more significantly, historic moments in culture in a wider sense.

More than sporting excellence and competition, the Olympics have always represented morality and ethics which translate into an international language and unite countries from all over the world.

The huge international viewership for the olympics offers elite level brand marketing and advertising rarely found outside of global events. For this reason you must plan meticulously, schedule unwaveringly, and create conscientiously!

Best Olympic Ads Ever

In this marketing inspiration guide we’ll be taking a look at some of the best to ever do it when it comes to Olympic/Paralympic themed or related advertising and a little later what you can do to mirror their success.

The Podium:

Gold Medal

Just pipping the rest of the field to the line and taking home the gold is P&G’s poignant “Best Job” ad. Part of P&G’s “Thank you, Mom” campaign which caused tears to fall wherever it was aired, the bitter sweet sting of nostalgia rendering even the most strict of parents neutralised in a brilliant campaign.

As one of the most shared Olympic ads of all time, P&G, told the story of how parenting, although challenging, is often its own reward, as the brief story follows four mothers supporting their children all the way to Olympic competition.

Highlighting the parental bond through dedication and sport, the time spent together over the years outweighs any success is the motive message that gives this ad such widespread appeal.

Silver Medal

“Rule Yourself” from sporting giant Under Armour highlights the meticulous and often isolating preparation of legendary US swimmer Michael Phelps in the run up to his last Olympic games.

The 2016 visually striking and perfectly balanced 90 second mini-documentary then ends with the inspirational tagline of “it's what you do in the dark, that puts you in the light”, dramatically conveying what it takes to reach the top.

Striving for excellence rather than sentimentality, this ad, although focusing on the man who has more Olympic gold medals than anybody else ever, can be transferred to anyone, making it primal in its resonance.

Bronze Medal

2016’s “we’re the superhumans” is an upbeat and catchy advertisement for the Paralympics, featuring some of Team GB’s most famous faces including swimmer Ellie Simmonds and sprinter Jonnie Peacock; the ad showcases the unrivalled skill and determination of para-athletes likening them to superhumans.

By utilising such well known personalities and demonstrating the levels of their sporting prowess, this ad removes, no, crushes any preconceived notions surrounding para-athletics.

Combined with the vibrancy and optimism of the ad, the powerful message of support, admiration and inclusivity makes Channel 4’s commercial commanding.

Don’t Fall at the First Hurdle - Navigating Olympic Marketing Copyright

When it comes to marketing around the Olympics, you have to tread carefully to avoid stepping over copyright boundaries. It might be surprising, but there are many common words and phrases closely associated with the Olympics that are protected as intellectual property. This means using them in your marketing without permission could land you in hot water.

For example, phrases like ‘Paris 2024 Olympic Games’, ‘Olympics’, ‘Olympian’, and even ‘Olympic Torch’ are off-limits unless you're an official partner of the games. Even references to the ‘spirit’ of the games need to be handled with care to avoid implying an official connection or endorsement.

So, if you’re planning to tap into the excitement of the Olympics, you’ll need to be creative. Focus on themes of global unity, excellence in sports, and personal achievement without using the protected terms. This approach ensures your content stays on the right side of copyright laws while still capturing the essence of the Olympic spirit.

For more information please check out -

So what makes good Olympic/Paralympic Marketing?

There are a few key cornerstones when using a global sporting event as a vehicle for marketing your business, brand or product - the campaign must be topical, impactful and balanced when considering the message or theme you want to promote.

Planning and Scheduling for Olympic Marketing Campaigns

For a successful Olympic marketing campaign, getting an early start is key. You’ll want to brainstorm and lock down your campaign ideas well before the games begin. This gives you plenty of time to polish your plans, pick a compelling theme, and create content that really connects with your audience.

Starting early isn’t just about being prepared—it lets you tap into the excitement that builds up before the Olympics and ensures you can adapt to any new trends or audience expectations as the games approach.

Proper planning means your campaign will hit the ground running, with all parts working together to make a big impact right from the start.

The Olympics run from - Fri, 26 Jul 2024 – Sun, 11 Aug 2024!

Topicality and Relevance in Olympic Marketing

Relevance is everything in Olympic marketing. Your campaign should breathe the spirit of the Olympics, focusing on themes like unity, achievement, and the triumph of the human spirit. These are the big, heartfelt ideas that resonate with viewers around the world and make the Olympics so special.

By aligning your campaign with these themes, you create a stronger connection with your audience, both emotionally and mentally. Remember to also weave in some local flavour, especially from the host city or country, to give your campaign an extra touch of authenticity and appeal.

Leveraging Social Media for Olympic Campaigns

Social media is a game-changer for getting the word out during the Olympics. Platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram let you reach millions of people instantly. They're perfect for sharing quick updates, sneak peeks behind the scenes, or exciting content that gets people talking.

To really make the most of social media, tailor your content to each platform—think fun, snappy videos for TikTok, beautiful, engaging posts for Instagram, and community-building content for Facebook.

Using the right hashtags, going live, or partnering with influencers can also supercharge your social media presence, making your campaign more visible and more interactive.

Influencers and Creators in Olympic Marketing

Collaborating with influencers and content creators can significantly amplify your Olympic marketing campaign. These individuals have dedicated followers and can provide authentic endorsements that resonate with a wide audience. When choosing influencers, aim for a good fit with your brand’s values and the spirit of the Olympics.

For instance, partnering with athletes, sports commentators, or well-known fitness enthusiasts can add a layer of credibility and relevance to your campaign. It’s not just about the number of followers—they should be voices that people trust and admire, which enhances the impact of your message.

Encourage these influencers to share their personal stories and experiences related to the Olympics, or to engage in challenges and activities that highlight the competitive and communal spirit of the games. This kind of content feels genuine and can foster a stronger emotional connection with the audience.

Time to Make a Move

With just over a month to go, now is the time to start your olympic marketing preparations, ensuring you have enough time to test out different ideas and styles before promoting one you’re happy with and completely back.

On Your Marks, Get Set, Go

At Statuo we’re experts in crafting ethical and successful marketing, our bespoke and record breaking PPC, SEO, brand and web services can help augment your business and make you stand out from the crowd.

Get in touch today!


How are Olympic Sports Marketed?

Olympic sports are marketed through a combination of global and local strategies that highlight the excitement, cultural significance, and the universal appeal of the games. Official sponsors and media partners often create campaigns that feature athletes, memorable Olympic moments, and the values of sportsmanship and global unity. These campaigns are broadcast across various platforms, including television, online, and social media, reaching a worldwide audience.

Do the Olympics Have Ads?

Yes, the Olympics feature a wide array of advertisements, but they are strictly regulated. Only official sponsors and partners of the Olympics are allowed to run ads that directly mention the games or use its symbols and logos. These partnerships are costly but offer significant visibility due to the global audience the Olympics attract. Non-sponsors often engage in "ambush marketing" tactics, creating campaigns that evoke the general spirit of the games without violating copyright rules.

Can You Say Olympics in Marketing?

Using the word "Olympics" in marketing by non-sponsors is generally prohibited under copyright laws. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) holds strict rules to protect its brand and the brands of its official sponsors. Unauthorised use of Olympic trademarks, which include "Olympics," "Olympian," and any other word or symbol associated with the games, could lead to legal action.

What are the Restrictions for Olympic Marketing?

The restrictions for Olympic marketing are primarily aimed at protecting the rights of the official sponsors who have paid for the privilege to be associated with the Olympics. Non-sponsor companies are prohibited from using Olympic trademarks, logos, or any explicit references to the games in their marketing materials. 

This includes specific phrases, the Olympic motto, symbols like the rings, or any direct mention of the host city in an Olympic context. Marketers must also avoid campaigns that might suggest an official partnership or affiliation with the Olympics unless they have obtained the proper rights. This ensures that the value of sponsorship remains high and that the Olympic brand is used in a controlled and respectful manner.

Quick Links