Advocate Recommendations: Much Stickier than Olympic Sponsorships

Do you know who's sponsoring the 2012 Summer Olympics in London? According to AdAge.com, it's statistically understandable if you don't. A survey by Toluna Global Omnibus found that many consumers are unable to correctly state who sponsors The Olympics.

Out of the 1,034 U.S. Consumers surveyed...

  • 19% incorrectly identified Burger King as an Olympic sponsor vs. the 40% who correctly identified McDonald's as a sponsor.
  • 28% incorrectly identified Pepsi as an Olympic sponsor vs. the 47% who correctly identified Coca-Cola as a sponsor.
  • 37% incorrectly identified Nike as an Olympic sponsor vs. the 24% who correctly identified Adidas as a sponsor.

In the eyes of an Ad Man (I've been watching MadMen recently) this data is not impressive. Not only do brand advertisements fail to stick in consumers' heads, many consumers think that brand competitors are in fact sponsoring The Olympics. Adidas must be pissed.

Attaching your name to The Olympics is expensive. AdAge reports that Adidas spent £100 million ($156,570,000) on its Olympic Marketing in the last four years, part of which gave Adidas exclusive marketing rights within the United Kingdom. Why should Adidas waste their money if when asked who sponsors The Olympics, more consumers say Nike?

Marketers are spending money in all the wrong places. Instead, brands should invest in finding and activating their most effective salespeople- their Brand Advocates. In an earlier ZuberRants postRob Fuggetta breaks down what a brand could achieve through an advocacy program instead of investing $3 Million in a 30-sec Super Bowl ad. We're talking 2 million energized Advocates, 10 million authentic recommendations, and a 10X ROA (Return on Advocacy).

Adidas, I encourage you to put more eggs in the Advocacy basket. Because let's face it, consumers don't trust brands, they trust their friends.

-Beau Cowan, Marketing Coordinator, Zuberance