April 25th, 2012
Olympic ads out before Memorial Day
By Bruce Horovitz
Many folks haven’t even cut their lawns yet this spring. That’s not stopping some of America’s biggest brands from already marketing their best hopes for late-summer sales heroics: Olympic athletes.
The faces of Olympic athletes — past and present — are showing up on soft-drink cans, cereal boxes and battery packs. Never mind that the London Summer Games don’t start for three months or that most consumers haven’t a clue who most of the athletes are. For advertisers with massive Olympic investments, there’s no holding back.
“It’s starting to feel like when I go into Costco and see Christmas decorations in September,” says Paul Swangard, managing director at the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at University of Oregon. “How early is too early?”