Olympics Campaigns: Winners in the Cute, Lucky and Oddball Competitions

I get all warm and fuzzy watching those gold-filtered Visa ads voiced by Morgan Freeman, but the editorial team here at ChasNote prefers campaigns that take more creative risks. Here are a few that would land on the podium if “cutest product placement” or “weirdest TV commercial” were Olympic events.

In that first category gold goes to Mini. Those one-fourth-sized mini Minis that retrieve javelins, discuses and hammers are even more adorable than the full-sized cars — and the concept is consistent with the smaller-is-better positioning that’s long been the core of Mini messaging. (More info and pictures at NOTCOT.) But as far as product placement goes, it’s rather subtle. Almost too subtle, eh?

Others complain that International Olympic Committee is violating its own rules prohibiting advertising on the field of play. From Eurosport:

The remote-controlled cars whizzing around the athletics stadium have triggered branding questions. The Olympic venues at the London Games are supposed to be strictly ad-free, but the use of the distinctive cars appears to be blatant advertising. The International Olympic Committee ensures adverts or logos of products are not visible in the fields of play in line with its Olympic Charter despite sponsors paying hundreds of millions of dollars to be associated with the Games. The Minis, made by German car manufacturer BMW who is also a Games sponsor, may not carry visible logos but are instantly recognisable for what they are.

(Credit: From the Facebook page of VividSeats.)

In the “wow, that worked out well” category, we’re going with McDonalds and the widely-covered remark by Usain Bolt, when he filled us in on the dietary regimen of the world’s fastest man on race day: “I had some plaintains, some hash browns, fruit, then a wrap from McDonald’s. For lunch I had rice and pork and some apple juice.” Was that exceptionally good luck, or just the product of making darn good wraps?

In the “weirdest TV commercial” competition we decided against awarding medals. If that weren’t the case, though, Ragu would take the big prize. The preferred pasta sauce for kids who are traumatized by watching their parents have sex?! Oh my. That’s just a terribly conceived ad.

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