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Socialympics: Competition Hots Up Among 2012 Sponsors

Holmes Report  13 Jul 2012

LONDON--With two weeks to go, social media competition between London 2012 sponsors is gathering pace. 

The top two spots on Sociagility’s London 2012 Social Scoreboard remain the object of a tussle between P&G and Cadbury’s. While the latter has retained its challenger spot from last week, P&G’s new ‘kids’ wave of advertising may drive it back to reclaim the lead – in the 'status' stakes at least. Both were early movers and integrated social tightly with other marketing.

Elsewhere, Visa’s late entry strategy is bearing fruit with a 6th placing overall. This seems to be driven primarily by a high status score – with ad bursts probably driving popularity of an improved website score – and a high YouTube score. However, the brand's 'potential' score remains relatively low, reflecting the apparent lack of a strong engagement strategy, an issue which is not limited to Visa alone.

This week’s announcement by BMW that it is unlikely to repeat its “one-off” London 2012 investment at Rio 2016 is understandable, but perhaps surprising given that its efforts thus far have achieved a very solid 4th place on Sociagility’s ranking, let down only by poor receptiveness (reflecting a lack of focused participation) and an apparent neglect of Twitter.

Cisco, nominally a pure B2B brand, has also turned in a consistent across-the-board performance, albeit at 8th position, down from the high point in May when the network solutions company was running 2nd.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola’s marketing power is beginning to show, and its ‘flames’ campaign with fans should live up to its name, increasing its overall social media score. UPS has also turned in another comparatively strong score, seemingly as part of a strategy to move from a B2B to a B2C brand presence in the UK.

It is worth comparing energy companies EDF and BP. While the latter should have the home team advantage, EDF’s electricity appears to be overpowering BP’s gas and fuel. The former’s attribute performance seems more consistent and its trust scores are higher – perhaps indicating lingering issues related to BP’s oil spill? There is an element of irony to a French energy company, one heavily vested in nuclear, outscoring a British company on its home turf. EDF’s campaign to become ‘local’ in the UK may yet be working.

Last but not least, there’s adidas. This brand, so synonymous with sports and the Games, appears to have pursued a strategy of using its ‘main’ social media profiles instead of dedicated 2012 channels. Because of this, and the plethora of other sporting events and personalities it supports, it has been forced to come to the social media party late – at least so far as social media performance on the Social Scoreboard is concerned.

Like the Olympic competitors themselves, the sponsors look to be limbering up nicely and vying for a neck and neck finish. And, as we edge nearer to the start of the Games, the rankings on the London 2012 Social Scoreboard may yet change again, with all Olympic channel set for a comprehensive review as the final sprint beckons.

The London 2012 Social Scoreboard tracks all the main London 2012 Olympics sponsors’ social media performance on a daily basis. See http://www.sociagility.com/olympics/aboutfor information about how the scores have been calculated

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