Beyond the Olympics
So here it is - the biggest event London has ever hosted. But as the athletes, TV viewers, volunteers, journalists, bus drivers and security people brace themselves for a month of fevered activity, for the brands that have hitched their commercial wagons to the Olympics it's time for some concerted long-range planning.
As our opening feature outlines, EDF Energy is firmly pushing the low-carbon message alongside its Olympic sponsorship. The fact that it is powering both the Olympics venues and some key London landmarks with low-carbon fuel will make for some nice headlines during the event. But it is the context to this - its sustainability activities before and after the Olympics- that will truly deliver value for EDF's involvement as both a tier-one sponsor of the Games and sponsor of the London Eye.
For the myriad of consumer brands currently circling the Olympics in a variety of creative ways, the same applies. How can they ensure they maintain the halo effect of excitement that may fall in their direction? Put simply, says Cohn & Wolfe's Rebecca Grant, 'don't end online conversations with consumers'. For the brands that have cleverly offered consumers something tangible in return for their fleeting interest (Cadbury's 'Unwrap Gold' promotion linking medal winners to wrapper codes and prizes springs to mind), their challenge will be how many of those Facebook 'likes' can be retained once the autumn sets in.
The fact that all this could be perfect material for another episode of the BBC's spoof documentary Twenty Twelve doesn't make it any less commercially important.
Claire Murphy, consultant editor, PRWeek
'Our polling says that [EDF initiatives] has helped produce clear water between us and the other energy companies in the environmental space.'
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