Peter Shankman was interviewed on CNN to talk about brands and 2016 Olympics. During this Olympics, it was swimmer, Michael Phelps dominating the Olympic sponsorship. Plus they discuss how advertisers score as athlete win by highlighting personal stories like bicyclist, Kristin Armstrong.
CNN: Now as Michael Phelps is ruling the pool, he’s dominating in the competition between Olympic adverts. According to video ad company unruly, this Under Armour advertisement is one of the most shared of these Olympics and to go with it, the brand has also launched a Twitter offensive. Tweeting this slogan from their campaign after Phelps’ second Rio gold. It says, it’s “What you do in the dark. That puts you in the light.” That is their tagline for this. Joining me now is branding and social media consultant. Peter Shankman Peter. It’s great to see you. You know, let’s start with Michael Phelps. Some people thought this was a bit of a risk given his past struggles, his time in rehab, but it seems to really be paying off for under Armour.
Peter Shankman: At the end of the day, this guy, isn’t an amazing athlete. You know, I was, I was watching, they’re all amazing athletes, just watching Kristin. Your interview is Kristen Armstrong. You know, I did five miles running in central park this morning. I feel incredibly soft. Like now, you know, that’s the thing that captures people.
22% of the people who watched that ad, uh, responded, they felt amazement. Watching his, uh, training. So right there, that is a personal connection that Underarmour now, 22% of the people that watched that, that was a huge hit, huge number for under Armour. This was a gamble that paid off millions and millions of times over for them.
It was probably, it’s probably been as one of the smartest. Uh, uh, risks that a brand has taken in the past 50 years.
CNN: That’s right. And, and I, and I think that the, the point of emphasizing the hard work, you know, and the struggle that gives into it really matches up with this personal story as well. So they made that bet going into it.
I want to ask you about somebody like Kristen Armstrong. We just heard her amazing. Story people, maybe weren’t aware of her, didn’t even know about her before the Olympics, but she’s a warrior King mom. She goes and wins the gold. You saw her with her son athletes who were kind of under the radar like that.
Will they benefit from an Olympic sort of, you know, halo after. During, especially when we hear about them in these couple of weeks.
Peter Shankman: They can, I mean, there’s definitely a bump. Um, it’s almost like a post-convention bump for the, for the a people in politics what’s gonna wind up happening is, you know, that photo, the one photo that I took away from that was her holding up her bike and what you saw.
Uh, was her zip wheels and her zip bike wheels. Zip is a company that, that makes, um, really, really fast bike was they’re not cheap. They’re like 1400 bucks a wheel at the, at the entry barrier. So what you’re looking at is zip now says, look, that Olympic athlete, who is also a mom, I have a full time working mom.
She won an Olympic gold medal. On our wheels. So those kinds of things are tremendously beneficial for a brand. And it’s why brands try so hard to woo. These top athletes, specialized bikes is another one. They do a tremendous, tremendous outreach to, to top level writers who might not be known outside of the sport, but within the sport, you know, there’s not, there’s not one person in cycling who did not know Kris Armstrong was before today.
We all knew who she was. Now. She’s starting to get a little more. Uh, aware. So her, her, her marketability to the general public has, has gone up, but she, you know, for what she is and what she’s accomplished has been well known in the sporting world.
CNN: Yeah. And that, and it’s funny, the picture I think of is her hugging her son and I’m thinking, you know, a strong woman, who’s a world Dove all of these companies who sort of, you know, highlight that part of her life. I’ve got, we’re looking at her and his house. Right.
Peter Shankman: That’s what she’s now coming into. And, and hopefully she has a good, uh, a sports agent. Who’s going to start fielding these kinds of queries because here’s a 43 year old working mom. I’m a 44 year old working single dad. And I still can’t believe how much she’s done. You know, that’s the incredible thing. She, she. That’s what people are going to talk about. You know, I talk about people who say, Oh, I don’t have the time to exercise. Are you kidding me? You know, there’s your answer. That’s, that’s the kind of brand advertisers …
CNN: She’s making me feel like I got to get out there today. That’s exactly right. I want to ask about brand Olympics in general, though, there was so much turmoil, so much angst heading into this, you know, how do we feel? Feel about how the Olympic brand is doing here in Rio.
Peter Shankman: It happens every year before sport, before there’s actual sporting events. Before there are records broken before there are crashes before there are multiple gold medals, one, there’s nothing to talk about other than the fact that the Olympics are coming. So we look for the negatives, Oh my God. It’s in Rio. There’s Zika, there’s sewage in the water. We look for all these things and we tend to forget about them. We have incredibly short. A memory when it comes to things like that, as soon as the action starts. So as soon as the first goal is when you know, America won the first gold and the second we won, like I think was in shooting the second one, that gold. We immediately forgot about things like, um, uh, sewage in the water or Zika that became an afterthought because all of a sudden it was country versus country versus player. Uh, things of that nature and brands know that. And so they take these 4 billion, $5 billion gambles before the Olympics start knowing full well that they’re going to go in. And the second one of their athletes hits. That’s what people are gonna be talking.
CNN: Yeah. And, and honestly, what an inspiring group of people too, cause almost to a one, when you hear their backstory, you can’t help by being uplifted by it. You know, truthfully they’re they are extraordinary competitors. Peter. Great to catch up with you. It’s going to be fun to watch the rest of the action. Thanks so much. Bye pleasure. Right.