4 Tips For Leveraging The Summer Olympics In Your Upcoming Marketing Campaigns

By Jacqueline Bourke, Head of Creative Insights for EMEA, iStock

The 2020 Olympic Games kicked off in Tokyo last week and fans around the world are making time to watch their favorite events and cheer on their nations’ athletes. The Games, as well as the Paralympics, create a unique opportunity for businesses to connect with their customers around something that resonates across the board: sport. Whichever industry you’re in, the feelings of celebration and togetherness which the Olympics evoke are the very same themes that serve to unite and engage communities worldwide.

Using the insights from our in-house Visual GPS research, which regularly surveys over 10,000 people globally, we’ve identified four tips to help businesses effectively incorporate this “summer of sport” into their marketing campaigns and ideally drive greater engagement among their customers at the same time.

First off, ensure your visuals are relatable.

Not everyone can be Usain Bolt or Simone Biles. Remember to be inclusive in your visual choices by showing people of all abilities and body types enjoying sports and exercise and avoid the tendency to rely exclusively on visuals showcasing toned, young athletes. Think about the range of exercise and fitness on offer, from wheelchair basketball to senior yoga and running groups, and consider visuals that feature individuals and also groups. Ensure you are including intersectional identities, too, by choosing visuals that champion a variety of body shapes, types, sizes, abilities, age, and gender. After all, people are never just “one thing.”

Celebrate togetherness

Every summer, but especially during an Olympics summer, people choose to gather together to cheer on the athletes sporting their flag—in other words, they want to celebrate.  Our Visual GPS research shows that 86% of people globally look for ways to celebrate the good things in their life. This could be anything from a barbeque with friends to watching the Olympics in a beer garden. Consider visualizing the ways in which people are connecting virtually and celebrating with loved ones from afar. Bonus? We also know that this is incredibly important to people of late, with 82% of those surveyed stating that technology helps them feel better connected to others.

Consider fitness more holistically

Mind, body and soul—93% of people believe it is just as important to take care of themselves emotionally as physically. When thinking about fitness, consider it holistically and include the benefits it can have on people’s emotional wellbeing, too. Choose visuals that show the emotional rewards people receive from taking a walk outdoors or the ways in which fitness helps them decompress from the stresses of daily life. Include visuals that represent a broad spectrum of proactive self‑care moments—which could be everything from eating healthier to working out with a friend or loved one.

Get back to nature

Customer searches on iStock for “family outdoors” have increased by 60% and searches for “mother nature” have risen by 131%, year-over-year, reflecting the desire most have to reconnect with nature this summer now that lockdown restrictions are easing and people can venture further afield. When selecting your visual content, consider the different ways in which people are embracing the outdoors. This could be a hiking trip with friends, camping with the kids, or even just playing a game of table tennis or beach volleyball. By intentionally visualizing the mindful ways in which people are engaging in outdoor activities you’ll be able to better resonate with customers of all ages.