Advertisers Cut Back Olympic Spending

Advertisers Expected to Cut Back Olympic Spending


Advertisers cut back Olympic spending. General Motors, Procter & Gamble, AT&T and Coca-Cola are expected to spend less on Olympic advertising than they did in 2014. This trend could speak to future potential for the Games.

Some advertisers are moving away from big, expensive advertising in favor of more targeted media and digital platforms. Others are concerned about viewership for the Games because of changes in consumers’ media-consumption habits. There also is traditionally more buzz around the summer games than winter. Advertisers’ cut back on Olympic spending in favor of targeted media signals even the Games are not immune to the media shakeup of the decade. 

P&G, which spent $51 million on U.S. TV ads in the 2014 Games, said it has found more “efficient and effective” ways to spend through the Olympics. “As a top sponsor since 2012, we have found ways in every Olympics to get more efficient and effective in building our brands across all consumer touch points including in digital, e-commerce, TV and in-store,” said a P&G spokeswoman.

General Motors, who spent $148 million in the 2014 event, are also planning on spending roughly 10% less this year. GM’s Olympics shift is part a broader strategy to cut back on big, expensive events, according to people familiar with the matter.

NBC is guaranteeing audiences by tallying up live viewing across all platforms—TV and streaming—for the first time. As Bloomberg’s Gerry Smith explains, “whether a fan is following figure skating on the NBC broadcast channel or tuned into curling online, that person will count the same toward the audience NBC is promising to advertisers — and cost the same for a marketer to reach.”

This shift in traditional ad spending could be in favor of the top advertisers. Effectively targeting valuable brand audience while decreasing spending is effective.

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