The London 2012 Olympics are almost upon us and, whether you’re excited or couldn’t care less, expect to be inundated with all manner of Olympic-branded promotional material from the event’s big name sponsors. But there will be a difference between advertising around this year’s Olympics and the one four years previous. For London 2012, expect mobile apps and mobile websites to take centre stage when it comes to brand promotion. In fact, Coca-Cola – arguably the biggest Olympic sponsor this year – is putting mobile apps firmly at the centre of its advertising strategy.

coca_cola_london_2012 Coca-Cola Olympics App Development Strategy

Coca-Cola’s new Olympic promotional app was unveiled last week and it’s a prime example of how companies are now using a diverse range of mobile platforms to get their message out. The ‘Move to the Beat’ campaign is aimed at teenagers, and uses an iPhone and Android app that lets you create your own drum beat via the motion of your phone. The app uses technology from Zooz, and inbuilt motion sensors with smartphones, to record different movements and then translate them into sounds.

 Coca-Cola Olympics App Development Strategy

Once a track has been created with the app, the user then upload their music online via Coca-Cola’s mobile website, and can listen to content created by other users. Coca-Cola’s mobile website also allows users to sign-up to SMS alerts, which send out facts about athletes taking part in the games. Plus the company is using QR codes that link to information and other Coca-Cola promotions. How’s that for a mobile triple whammy.

“Mobile is at the heart of many teens’ daily lives, connecting them with their family, their friends and their world,” Kim Siler, Coca-Cola’s head of mobile brand strategy, told Mobile Marketer “Mobile, in turn, is at the heart and foundation of our strategy for London 2012, amplifying those connections with music, relevant content and movement. Every aspect of the mobile strategy is connected and integral to the overall story for teens to Move to the Beat of London 2012 ”

It’s not just mobile apps that are being used during the Olympics. Samsung, another big name sponsor of the 2012 games, last week rolled out its own Olympics Facebook app. The ‘Samsung Everyone’s Olympic Games’ app is basically a social media hub that promotes and links to Samsung’s Olympic content, giving users info on Samsung-sponsored athletes and the Samsung Hope relay event. It also serves content based on users’ Facebook profiles and tells people what Olympic-related content friends are sharing.

Both Coca-Cola and Samsung’s campaign shows just how integral apps and mobile websites are becoming to the marketing strategies of big companies. By taking a mobile-centric approach, Coca-Cola has been able to target its desired audience of teenagers during the the Olympic Games with an interactive advertisement that is far more engaging than traditional mediums. While Samsung has opted to use the viral marketing power of a Facebook app to tie-up and promote all of its Olympic-themed content in order to maximise its reach. The degree to which these big name brands are investing in mobile really speaks volumes about the potential ROI apps can bring.

So great new for sponsors. But for people like me, who have little interest in sport and are somewhat dreading the Olympics, it’s going to be much harder  to avoid all the hype this year!

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