Why a Major Sponsor of the Olympics Decided Not to Buy Ads During NBC’s Coverage of the Games

Feb 25, 2014  •  Post A Comment

One big sponsor of the Olympics ran ads just about everywhere else on television during the recent Sochi Winter Games — including on ABC, CBS and Fox, and on NBC’s non-Olympics programming — but didn’t take out an ad during coverage of the Olympics themselves.

Advertising Age reports that Samsung, which is one of 10 global TOP sponsors — The Olympic Partners — ran spots on NBA games, nightly news and talk shows, including NBC’s "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," while sitting out coverage of the Sochi Games.

Was it about a tightening ad budget, or a strategic move? Maybe a little of both.

"Gone are the days when a TOP sponsor like Samsung needs to spend the majority of its marketing money on TV ads right before and during the Games. With the Games being streamed live on NBCOlympics.com, covered on MSNBC, NBCSN and chattered about on everything from morning news shows to late-night, Samsung seems to be spreading its buy to be more strategic," the story notes.

At the same time, the article reports: "For Samsung, however, the Sochi Olympics seems to mark a decline in spending. A Samsung spokeswoman declined to comment on spending changes, but ad trackers show the communications giant has spent aggressively on past Olympics. During the Vancouver Games in 2010, Samsung spent $18.6 million in measured media, according to Kantar, compared to $3.6 million during the same time period in the non-Olympic year of 2009."

Samsung has been running two Olympic-themed spots in the U.S. One of those, "Home Olympics," which can be seen below, has been among the most talked-about ads airing recently on television.

Please click here for more about the Samsung ad strategy in the full Ad Age article.

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