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Against All Odds

If you think making advertisement #videos was easy, you haven’t heard of this case.


Before the Olympics in London 2012, sports brands were competing by auction to be the title sponsor for the event. Nike lost to their arch-rival Adidas which auctioned at $150 million.

To protect their sponsors the London Olympics came out with strict rules with regards to advertising. This was to prevent non-sponsors from associating themselves with the Olympics. The rules:

  1. ‘Olympics 2012’, ‘London Olympics’ or ‘Summer Olympics’ could not be used in any advertisement by non-sponsors.

  2. The rings of the Olympics also could not be use in advertisement by non-sponsors.

  3. The non-sponsor sports brands could not shoot their commercial in London, United Kingdom, where the Olympics was being held.

  4. They could not use Olympic athletes in it’s commercial.

What Nike did was brilliant. Nike’s commercial did not mention anything about the Olympics or showed the Olympics rings. The commercial did contain the word London, but the London shown was in countries, accept the United Kingdom. The commercial did not show any Olympic athletes, but athletes and average people who were simply challenging themselves in their ‘sports’.


The commercial was a success as about a hundred percent more people ended believing that Nike was the Olympics sponsor than Adidas and the same was for the percentage of people who watched the Nike commercials on YouTube compared to Adidas. Nike achieved twice as much as Adidas without spending $150 million sponsoring the Olympics.


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