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Posts Tagged ‘london 2012’

Britain Finds Novel Ways to Bond with Global Audience

London’s 2012 Olympic Games may have inspired love at first sight among the viewing public and attendees, but from a marketing communications standpoint it’s been a long, drawn-out courtship.

“We’ve been preparing for the Olympics since 2005. To inspire visitation, our strategy has been to socialize the travel experience and centralize content to support marketing and PR,” says Karen Clarkson, VP North America for VisitBritain. She spoke at the Association for Travel Marketing Executives’ Marketing Issues Forum on Thursday in New York, discussing her company’s Olympics efforts and plans for the next James Bond movie, Skyfall.

Britain has enjoyed extended time in the public spotlight this year, from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration in June to the Olympic Games in July, the Paralympics in August and London’s Fashion Week in September. As Clarkson noted, “It’s been an opportunity to influence information about London and beyond, and not limited to sports related content. For the Olympics, we established digital content partnerships with NBC, Yahoo, The Travel Channel, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Travel & Leisure magazine.” She said that these partnerships helped the company generated $600 million worth of earned media impressions.

While partnership marketing plays a key role in VisitBritain’s operations, “social is at the heart of everything we do,” Clarkson explained. She described a unique pre-Olympics project in which Britain worked with the U.S. Olympic Committee to “engage athletes and have them experience Britain firsthand before the Games.” They selected and sent seven American Olympics athletes to Britain in the fall of 2011 “to showcase the destination from a U.S. perspective and to appeal to a younger demographic.” The athletes generated visual content as they interacted with their fan bases on Facebook and Twitter.

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McKayla Maroney Probably Not Impressed by Her Own Meme

Not disappointed?We think it’s safe to say that last week was a great one for McKayla Maroney. Not only did she bring home the gold as part of the US Gymnastics Fab Five (that’s “Fierce Five” if you ask them); she also won silver in the women’s vault competition. Not too shabby!

And yet, Maroney’s been making waves all over social media this week as part of a clever meme based on a single photo that speaks volumes: After placing second in the vault event because of a last-minute slip, the gymnast looks a little…disappointed. You might even say that McKayla is not impressed with winning the silver.

Maroney cleared the air during an appearance on The TODAY Show yesterday, stating that she was “just disappointed in what happened and how I performed” rather than the silver medal itself.

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Wait, Gabby Douglas Has A PR Problem?

Defying gravityFirst the obvious: Brilliant young gymnast Gabby Douglas, Olympic gold medalist and winner of a “potential endorsement goldmine,” slipped a bit in last night’s balance beam competition, falling to seventh in the rankings as the 2012 gymnastics events drew to a close.

But does the new individual world champ need a strategic PR adjustment? Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post seems to think so.  Her basic message to Douglas: ignore the noise. In the wake of overwhelming media scrutiny of her every move, her family history, and even her hairstyle, the newly crowned queen of the mat supposedly complained of anxiety and had trouble sleeping; after her less-celebrated performance yesterday, she admitted that she was “kinda tired” and all but confirmed that the endless coverage had affected her in a negative way.

While Jenkins certainly has a point about the very aggressive questioning Douglas received from every corner of the press, we have to wonder: Did Gabby really need a handler to “shut her down and [take] away her electronics”? Would a strict media-free regimen work for a star whose genuine naivety is the key to her charm? Should she be closely advised to avoid discussing sensitive subjects?

Most importantly: Why can’t everyone just let her be herself, celebrate her achievements and stop blatantly attempting to amplify the drama?

Oh wait: We just answered our own question, didn’t we?