Yesterday was the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and, on the back of the social buzz generated by the Olympic Games a few weeks ago, a number of sponsor brands have already started taking advantage of social media.
British Airways’ Olympics campaign was based around encouraging people not to fly during the Olympics – ironic, which is probably what made it such a fantastic creative idea. Before the Olympics, BA had tremendous success with their “Fly Down Your Street” web app. They’ve now extended their creativity further by developing the Paralympics Symphony, focusing more on social media – maybe trying to reap the benefits other sponsors saw from social media during the Olympics. This site uses tweets, posts and messages of support to create soundtracks determined by the volume of messages given at a given moment. The more messages, the louder the sound, and when support reaches peak levels, names of GB athletes ring out. You can also change the soundtrack to fit a certain sport, venue or athlete.
BP are another sponsor innovatively using social media, this time combining it with broadcast media to take advantage of the ad breaks which Channel 4 have during the Paralympics coverage. During the Opening Ceremony, BP’s advertisement asked viewers to tweet messages of support to Paralympic athletes Stefanie Reid, Shelly Wood & Richard Whitehead using specifically designed hashtags. Selected Tweets will then be used in bespoke advertisements aired during the events which these athletes are competing in.
I’m sure there will be a host of other social media campaigns emerging from Paralympic sponsors over the next few weeks, but these two are particularly innovative, demonstrating creative use of social media beyond traditional posts on Facebook and Twitter. The engaging elements of these campaigns will create plenty of buzz around these brand names throughout the Games, but overall will the Paralympics live up to the social success of the Olympics? Only time will tell.
If you’re wondering just how successful the Olympic Games were in the social media space, check out my previous blog post – The “Socialympics” – How online and social media performed during London 2012.