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Walking The Talk of Public Goodwill

Advertising communicators often wax lyrical about the necessity of investing in societal goodwill initiatives as a vital part of a brand’s persona and perceived consumer value. But so few brands manage to ‘walk the talk’ successfully.

The Trust Deficit

Brands face a tough business environment for generating convincing consumer goodwill. We are currently living in a world afflicted by a massive trust deficit.

We know that governments, financial institutions and even brands have consistently lied to us and habitually over-promised. We longer trust sporting outcomes and athletes are subjected to rigorous performance enhancing drug tests. Neither do we trust celebrities and our online security is a constant worry.

It is inevitable therefore, that any brand goodwill initiative will be viewed with consumer skepticism about its true motives and marketing intent, and easily dismissed as just another intrusive sales ploy.

Brand goodwill will elude marketers and advertisers if their commercial messages lack meaningful insight, genuine intent and emotive persuasiveness.

Event Marketing

Sponsorship of important events such as the Olympics, are often considered profitable investment opportunities for favourable brand building.

But whether lasting consumer goodwill can be achieved that will make consumers favour one brand more than another because it is, or was an official sponsor of an event, is debatable.

Do consumers actually care? Bob Hoffman would probably answer that it’s a ‘no-brainer’, they don’t.

I believe that whether consumers care or not, will depend entirely on whether a brand’s communication message is compelling enough to earn consumer interest and is sufficiently resonant to elicit any emotive response.

The World’s Largest Marketing Platform

Billions of viewers across the world in over 200 countries and territories are followers of the Olympic games from the opening to the closing ceremonies.

Support from the business community is crucial to the staging of the Games. Revenue generated by commercial partnerships accounts for more than 40% of Olympic revenues and partners provide vital technical services and product support to the whole of the Olympic Family.

Each level of sponsorship entitles companies to different marketing rights in various regions, category exclusivity and the use of designated Olympic images and marks.

For marketing strategists and media planners the many brand promotion opportunities are seen as a valid justification for entering into event partnerships. But gaining brand goodwill as a communication benefit, is exclusively a creative challenge.

Procter & Gamble’s Olympic Partnership

P&G’s long running series of paying a tribute to Moms for their tireless support in raising Olympians is the most successful in the history of the games in generating consumer goodwill.

Their commercials have been insightful reminders that the journey for athletes to the Olympic Games is a long one that starts in early childhood. Without the encouragement and the nurturing of their hopes and aspirations by their parents over many years, they would not have made it.

Some Dads are not happy about their contributions being excluded from the scenarios, but the overwhelming sentiment is that the tribute to Moms is well deserved and it is gratefully acknowledged as such by all Olympians.

1. P&G, Thank You Mom, The 2018 Winter Olympics

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Portland

Alma Ha’rel directed this emotive P&G commercial for the 2018 Winter Olympics held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

2. Toyota, Good Odds, The 2018 Paralympic Winter Olympics

Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, LA and Dentsu, Tokyo

According to Unruly, a leading social analytics company, Toyota’s Paralympic Olympic Sponsorship commercial achieved high brand goodwill ratings.

They found that ‘Good Odds’ “elicited feelings of inspiration, amazement, warmth and happiness”. On their brand metrics analysis, it scored a noteworthy 82% for both credibility and authenticity.

There is no doubt that for Advertising Communication strategists Unruly’s monitoring statistics are important in formulating effectiveness benchmarks.

However, Advertising Communication is not a ‘paint by numbers’ exercise and successful consumer brand preference outcomes will always be determined by creative intuition, inventiveness, compelling messages and insightfully crafted executions.