Back to home | Ir a home

Going for gold - Brands with the strongest chance of winning at this year’s Olympics

Let’s be honest, the past Olympic games didn’t have the greatest reputation. 

Between doping scandals, environmental and ethical issues, and an overall lack of diversity and inclusion, Paris has a lot to improve upon since the 2021 Tokyo Summer Games.  

As a result, the organizers of the Paris Olympics have been hard at work trying to turn things around. 

They’ve placed a heavy focus on sustainability and transparency in hopes of restoring the Olympic image.

Plans for Paris 2024

Paris 2024 promises to be different, and viewers should expect to see themes of inclusivity and diversity, rich culture and history, leading technology, and compelling storytelling.

With this promise, brands have been eager to have their name included in such a monumental event. 

Brands are playing up the subject of sustainability and inclusivity in their Olympics campaigns because they know that this event poses a real opportunity for them to change or enhance their public reputation/perception as well.

But, how brands choose to play up these themes must fit with the brand’s values, and the values and interests of their audience, for this strategy to work. 

In this analysis, we’ll explore some of Paris 2024’s biggest named sponsors, and take a look at how their proposed Olympic campaigns resonate with their audience.

First up, Airbnb.

Airbnb 

The Olympics attracts visitors from all over the world and for Airbnb, it poses the perfect opportunity to advertise to these international travellers who could be using Airbnb for the first time.

Paris hotels are already sold out so Airbnb can position itself as the next best (or better) alternative. 

Besides their need to grow their market share in Paris, their Olympic sponsorship makes sense for several reasons. 

Let’s get into it. 

Inclusivity 

Airbnb’s mission statement is “to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere,”. This goes well with the inclusivity theme Paris is going for. 

And for Airbnb, this statement holds true. 

Even before the Olympic partnership, the company had placed a heavy focus on inclusivity by considering all types of travellers.

An example of this is their  “step-free homes” options for people who are bound to a wheelchair or have mobility issues: 

Image - Airbnb “step-free homes”

Sustainability 

Additionally, the Paris 2024 Games is positioning itself to be the most sustainable Olympics ever. This has become a central theme in its marketing strategy

One way they are doing this is by using existing infrastructure. In fact, this year's games will use 95% of existing or temporary eco-designed infrastructure.

This mission has a lot of similarities with Airbnb’s business model, which is promoting the use of existing housing infrastructure (renting out people’s pre-existing homes). 

Airbnb is hoping that the Olympics will be an opportunity to promote eco-conscious stays and showcase their commitment to responsible travel. 

The question is — does Airbnb’s audience even care about “sustainable travel”, and will this Olympics campaign resonate with them?

The short answer is, not really. 

Image - personality traits - Soprism

When we look at the main “mindsets” of this audience within SOPRISM, nothing relates back to sustainability. 

In fact, a key characteristic of this audience is that they are more a right-wing voter, who supports conservative ideas in society, and favors things like free enterprise, reduction of government intervention, and traditional values - this doesn’t exactly align with someone who is left-leaning and concerned with things that climate change or sustainability. 

True audience interests

So what does this audience care about that Airbnb could focus on in their campaign?

They care about cultural history, historic preservation, and cultural heritage. You can see this topic coming up as a top interest of this audience within SOPRISM:

Image - Airbnb audience interest

If you remember from above, “culture and history” is another theme that the Paris Olympics is trying to play up. 

Instead of focusing on sustainability (in an advertising sense), Airbnb could promote stays that are near the main heritage sites in Paris for example. Or they could create heritage site maps for their guests visiting Paris and play up the history of the city and how Airbnb is trying to preserve that history. 

Olympic interests 

One final thing to note is that Airbnb’s audience is showing a high interest in Equestrian sports, so it would be a good idea for Airbnb to have a greater brand presence at these events.  

Image - Airbnb audience - high interest in Equestrian sports,

These may seem like minor details but when you consider the fact that Airbnb has a $500 million dollar Olympics sponsorship deal, then it makes sense for them to tailor their campaigns to the exact interests of their audience; culture, history and Equestrian sports. 

LVMH 

When you think of Paris, you think of historic architecture, art, and high fashion. So who better to partner with the 2024 Paris Olympics than luxury fashion house LVMH. 

LVMH is the parent company of high fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Fendi, and Givenchy. 

The way LVMH is inserting itself into the Olympic games is very authentic to how the company already operates and advertises - through enchanting storytelling and prestigious ads. 

LVMH already has a worldwide audience. But most people, when they think of LVMH, don't necessarily associate their brands with sports. 

This partnership has the opportunity to change people's perception that this is just a luxury brand, to the perception that this is a luxury brand that is doing a lot for the world of sports and the athletes who are the face of these sports.

LVMH paid $166 million for this sponsorship deal. In turn, they will be designing exclusive Olympic merchandise, and host high-end promotional events to set this Olympics up to feel more elevated from the rest. 

Compelling storytelling 

LVMH is really leaning into compelling storytelling with their Olympic campaign. Their mission statement is “The Art of Crafting Dreams”, and for the Olympics, they are positioning themselves as the “Artisan of All Victories”. 

Specifically in their “Playing Field” campaign, they tell this story of athletes and artisans alike preparing for the Olympics, on the field and in workshops.

 

The campaign features two high-level disciplines – sports and craftsmanship – where artisans and athletes pursue their endeavors with great passion. This passion leads to all victories, small or large, in the quest for perfect gestures and surpassing limits that will thrill the public during the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024.” - LVMH

We love the angle LVMH has taken here, but will their audience feel the same? 

Image - LVMH - main audience mindset

At first glance, there are no mindsets within their audience that suggest this, but when we dig a little deeper within this audience’s interests we can see that communication and storytelling in marketing is what this audience wants to see. 

Image - LVMH - main audience mindset

Storytelling coupled with themes that speak to this audience's main mindsets creates the perfect marketing recipe. 

For example, “The Dandies” are individuals who value education, learning, elegance, sophistication, and style. 

LVMH’s campaign mixes the Olympic storytelling while still exuding a feeling of elegance and sophistication. 

This approach was a perfect way to stay connected with their audience while attracting new Olympic/ sports fan audiences. 

Olympic interests 

The LVMH audience in particular shows an affinity towards Skateboarding, Cycling, and “Surfwear”: 

Image - LVMH audience in particular shows an affinity towards Skateboarding

The high-end promotional events that LVMH is hosting at the Olympics should be done in close proximity to these sporting events. 

This insight shows the importance of analyzing audiences using audience intelligence tools like SOPRISM because Skateboarding and Surfing were probably not the top sports you expected this high-net-worth audience to be interested in. 

Coincidentally both of these sports made their Olympic debut in Tokyo back in 2021.

Overall, LVMH’s Paris 2024 campaign didn’t veer far off from their usual marketing style — one they know works for their audience.

Instead, they used their style of storytelling to talk about sports in a more elevated and sophisticated way, and for that, we think this campaign will resonate with fans and stand apart from the other campaigns. 

Alibaba

Paris 2024 organizers are placing heavy importance on using the latest technology, especially when it comes to facilitating their marketing efforts. 

Alibaba Cloud has stepped in to fulfil this goal and will be providing cloud services to support the “digital transformation” of the Olympic games. Alibaba wants to be known for making this the most innovative games ever. 

Image - Alibaba Cloud

Leading technology & sustainability 

Alibaba is using its partnership with the Olympics to showcase its technological capabilities (cloud computing, AI, e-commerce) and position itself as a leader in tech. 

Coincidentally, the partnership comes at a time when Alibaba is also investing heavily in sustainable technologies, and in turn, the sponsorship is making the Olympics more eco-friendly too. 

Things like optimizing resource management and reducing the game's carbon footprint is a value they can add. 

Their technology is revolutionizing how the Olympics are being experienced as well as managed. But, is their audience connecting with this strategy? 

Image - Alibaba audience mindset

Above, the main mindsets within the Alibaba audience tell a different story.

This audience seems more like the “investor” type vs the “techie” type. They seem more interested in their investment in Alibaba or companies like Alibaba. 

The innovation aspect excites this audience but probably only as it pertains to how it's raising the company's stock price.

We can see this point proven again in their top interests: 

Image - Alibaba audience top interests

The innovation angle that Alibaba is taking is strong, but more focus should be placed on the advancements that are making the Olympics more efficient (and saving them money). 

They should be emphasizing the resource management and financial aspect over the carbon reduction theme for example, if they want their $800 million dollar sponsorship deal to resonate with their audience.  

Olympic interests 

Image - Alibaba audience interests

When we take a look at the sports interests of Alibaba’s audience, we can see that golf and water sports rank the highest. 

Using this insight, Alibaba could put more of their sponsorship dollars towards these sporting events knowing that their audiences will be more likely to watch these events. 

Gold, silver, bronze 

Paris 2024 is already off to a promising start. Their focus on inclusivity and diversity, rich culture and history, leading technology, and compelling storytelling will hopefully change the Olympic image for the better.

This mission has brought huge name brands like the ones we mentioned, who want to be associated with the positive turn the Olympic games are taking. So much so, that a lot of the brand sponsors are basing their campaigns around the same themes the Olympic games are pushing for. 

But, the problem with this is that these themes don’t always resonate with their current audience, and there could be other themes they could touch on that have a greater impact. 

Image - Olympics medals

Airbnb, LVMH, and Alibaba are all heavyweight sponsorships - Airbnb alone signed a $500 million Olympic sponsorship deal. 

This is why it is so important for these brands to make the most of their Olympic campaigns. Some Paris Olympic 2024 themes they’ve chosen to piggyback on or play up, aren’t the best fit for their audience. 

Gold Medal - LVMH

Based on the data collected by SOPRISM, we think LVMH has created the most impactful campaign. They’ve stayed true to what their audience cares about most. And this is why we're giving them the “gold medal” in marketing for the Paris 2024 Olympics. 

Silver Medal - Alibaba

The Silver medal goes to Alibaba. Their focus on technological innovation is a good fit, but it would be even more tailored to their audience if that theme was related to innovation in investing or finance - the number one interest of their audience. 

Bronze Medal - Airbnb

Finally, the bronze goes to Airbnb. As a whole, this brand’s values align with the values and priorities of this Olympics, especially around sustainability and inclusivity. 

But Airbnb audiences don’t choose Airbnb because it’s an eco-friendly choice. They likely choose Airbnb because it gives them the most authentic cultural travel experience, or in some cases it might just be the cheaper travel option. 

Instead, Airbnb should have played up the cultural and historical aspects of the Olympics and weaved that into its marketing strategy. This would have been closer to what Airbnb’s audience cares about most. 

Regardless of how we ranked these campaigns, each brand will be put on a global stage and the exposure they will get is invaluable. 

But, that still doesn’t change the fact that with such high sponsorship investment deals, brands should want their campaigns to be as impactful as possible.

If you stayed until the end and found this breakdown interesting, why not try SOPRISM and discover what resonates most with your audience and go for gold? 

Audiense blog - Start a trial - Audiense Insights