August 24, 2016

Social Media, The Olympics and How to #Win


If you’re not an Official Olympic Sponsor, there are nearly a dozen ways that your brand can get in trouble when posting about the 2016 Rio Olympics on social media. Put simply by the USOC, “Do not create social media posts that are Olympic themed, that feature Olympic trademarks, that contain Games imagery or congratulate Olympic performance unless you are an official sponsor as specified in the Social Media Section.”


These strict guidelines create various hurdles (get it) for brands, both big and small, hoping to capitalize on the national buzz this August. Unlike other national and international events, the Olympic games are one of the rare, non-polarizing events that are both huge and important. Most brands don’t weigh in on presidential elections, for example.

But despite the seeming death sentence that the USOC has served to social marketers, there have still been ways to get around the rules, champion the Rio hype and #win social media during the Olympics.

Below are three brands that have each taken a different approach to talking about “the games” without actually talking about them.

General Mills

General Mills recently began its real rabbit – real ingredients campaign to promote the removal of artificial flavors and colors from its cereals. As a tribute to the beloved Trix Rabbit, the “Real Trix Rabbit” has recently taken over as the honorary spoke-bunny for all GM cereals. For the Olympics, the brand took a cue from the games themselves and introduced the #RabbitShowdown to cash in on the excitement.

This adorable campaign features rabbits performing their “amazing athletic talents” and encourages followers to submit a video of their own pet rabbit as General Mills searches for the nation’s greatest rabbit athlete.


Dove has been known for message-driven campaigns and the #MyBeautyMySay campaign is no different. This campaign spans a much broader topic than the Olympics, but the brand has honed in on the focus of the games to expand its message.

Similar to many of Dove’s campaigns, empowering women is the overall goal. With #MyBeautyMySay, Dove states, “Somewhere along the way, it has become the norm to judge women based on their appearance and use their beauty against them. With the #MyBeautyMySay campaign we feature stories of amazing women who stood up for their own beauty. Help encourage women everywhere to stand up for their own beauty by sharing your story using #MyBeautyMySay.”

The Olympic Games come into play primarily on Twitter, where Dove focuses on female athletes and the negative commentary on their appearance instead of performance. The campaign spans beyond social and comes full circle with the “Have Your Say” website, which shows statistics and a list of tasteless tweets about female athletes that visitors can reply to.

Miller & Smith

While world-class athletes compete in the Olympic Games, Miller & Smith, an award winning homebuilder (and our client), provides world-class home design and customer service. To highlight Miller & Smith’s various awards and “gold worthy” accomplishments, we conceptualized and created an infographic that not only chimed in on the national Olympic hype but also focused on Miller & Smith statistics and achievements.