Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Breakthrough: Olympic Edition Part One

The Friday Breakthough is Ottawa’s weekly roundup of some of the Internet’s best marketing and social media articles for a less-than-intense day at the office. For the duration of the Winter Olympic Games, the Friday Breakthrough will be dedicated to reviewing The Good, The Bad and The “What Were They Thinking?!” of the marketing of the Vancouver Olympics.


Part One: The Good


1. Nike’s Force Fate



Nike nails it with “Force Fate”. No commercial in recent memory better captures the attitude of our determined athletes. And what about those golden expectations? Their defiant retort: “Destiny doesn’t decide if we win. We do.” Wicked line. Pow! They hit you in the gut with that. The music is killer, too. It’s a crank-up-your-ipod-I’m-gonna-run-10miles-flat-out kind of song. Honestly, if this spot doesn’t get you psyched up for Team Canada Hockey at Olympics, I don’t know what will.


If there’s one downfall for the commercial, it’s how pretty it looks. It’s shot beautifully, which makes me wish that it wasn’t. The attitude of this spot is so gritty that it leaves me wanting imagery that matches. Give me raw footage of practice; with sweat everywhere, whistles blowing, coaches yelling, and the heavy breathing of athletes pushing themselves past their breaking point. Now that is some serious “destiny” butt kicking. That would be the ultimate “Force Fate”.


2. CTV’s Believe, narrated by Donald Sutherland and set to the music of Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore.



Now I am a self-confessed Olympic junkie who loves those touchy-feely athlete profile stories that tug at your heart strings, but I have to say CTV has done a nice job with their promo spots. Donald Sutherland has the perfect pitch to carry the tone of the Canadian Olympic dream and adding in the music from the guy who won an Oscar for his work on the Lord of The Rings trilogy isn’t too shabby either.


Although I love the spots that profile our athletes, I am not such a fan of the other “Believe” spots that feature young Canadians. The thought is right and the message is right, but somehow it doesn’t feel authentic. It doesn’t pull at my heartstrings and it seems forced, like I know those kids were fed those lines. Canadian kids do have Olympic dreams and they’ll tell you about them, but I just don’t buy that they would tell you in the way that CTV is presenting. So overall, they got it right with Donald Sutherland, but they dropped the ball on the spots featuring the kids.


3. IOC (International Olympic Committee) – The Best of Us



This IOC spot with the cartooned athletes from the different continents in their respective Olympic gear. In the spot, these enormous cartooned athletes are standing on top of their home continents and each have a rope. They pull hard until they bring all the continents together. The different continents coming together is like a visual interpretation of the Olympic rings – emphasized by the continental colours. It’s imaginative, memorable and fun to watch. Kudos to the IOC!


Stay tuned for next week’s Friday Breakthrough. It’s gonna be ugly. I mean bad. Actually, Olympic marketing bad. Ok. You get the idea.