Innovation. Ideas. Insight.

The (Sports Marketing) World Is Flat: NBC v. BBC

In Insight, TSMWIF on August 19, 2008 at 10:47 am

How does the BBC (UK) promote the Olympic Games?:

Hat tip to Martin Bishop of Brand Mix for calling my attention to that brilliant spot.

What about NBC (US):

What do these two spots say about the networks that aired them, and about the people/culture they are broadcasting them to?

  1. I’ve been mystified by the BBC’s choice of opening titles for our Olympics coverage.
    It is an appealing piece of animation and the guy behind it has the required cool factor. But it doesn’t work for me at all in context of the Olympics and has quickly started to irritate (it is the main opening titles and then snippets are used to break up programmes).
    It also confirms that our expectations weren’t high as we weren’t prepared to focus on individuals. The fact we have surpassed expectations and performed so well in some sports – a double gold medal winner in the pool, our cyclists, rowers and sailors, 3rd in the medal table so far – reinforces the fact we never had high hopes.
    We’ve never been good at talking ourselves up (it isn’t the British way) and we’re not all that good at celebrating success either.
    The NBC promo wouldn’t work in the UK because of this mindset regarding success.
    Yet I’d rather see us celebrating sporting success than a trendy animator.

  2. That’s funny, I see it completely the opposite. I see the BBC’s promo as clever, artful and with a more universal spirit, whereas the NBC one is more, “America Rulez!!!!!”

    I think it is in our nature to be contemptuous of the familiar and intrigued by the foreign.

  3. I’ve always thought being “clever, artful and with a more universal spirit” was over-rated!

    I like the idea of the BBC promo, I’m just not sure they’ve pulled it off.
    Not sure if you’ve checked out iPlayer on http://www.bbc.co.uk which has more coverage and use of the animation?

  4. I really like it and think it is a brave departure from the normal montage of highlight clips with jingoistic voiceover. The BBC have a history of producing event trails which nod in the direction of the event location, with the use of Pavorotti’s Nessun Dorma for the Italia 90 World Cup coverage probably being the most notable, and I think the Olympic trail captures the spirit of Beijing and the East in a way that wouldn’t have been possible if it had been focussing on particular athletes.

    I also like the way that the BBC uploaded this to YouTube themselves and encouraged internet users to embed it, talk about it and share it with friends – there has been a large amount of online discussion around it and I believe the BBC have been getting record online viewing figures, especially because events are on during the working day here.

    The monkey ident has been cleverly used across the rest of the BBC’s activity – featuring on the web pages, Olympic widgets, on TV and in print promotions.

    It may be grating a bit now, but I would prefer the BBC to be experimenting and pushing the boundaries rather than just churning out the same old formats – and I can’t wait for 2012!

    http://www.nickburcher.com/2008/07/bbc-olympics-ad-launched-featuring.html

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