Saturday, February 13, 2010
Canada's ad to the world
Tonight, hundreds of millions of folks got a look at Canada through our Olympic ceremony opening. In short we had a 3 hour ad to the world about our country. It’s a marketers dream to have an audience like that. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s a one time shot with a million moving parts. What succeeded and what failed?
Generally when an ad fails, it’s not because of faulty execution- it is because of the shoddy planning. Think of the Microsoft ads featuring Jerry Seinfeld. Excellent execution but totally missing the mark for what consumers needed to hear from Microsoft. Another ad that missed the mark was the Olympic ad for GM that showed hockey players being assembled on the GM assembly line. A very cool execution but a message irrelevant to the GM brand.
Today we witnessed some outstanding planning and excellent execution for our Canadian ad as well as some terrible planning and miserable execution. Let’s take a look.
You would be hard pressed to find anyone who was not blown away by the visual extravaganza tonight. Using the crowd as an artistic canvas to showcase Canadian landscape, seasons, and culture is nothing short of brilliant. The planners dreamed up showcasing the diversity of our nation in very artistic ways- from young man running through wheat fields to visuals featuring falling autumn leaves of Quebec.
On the other hand, who dreamed up the idea of having Gretzky hop in the back of a pick up truck in the pouring rain to light the official torch? It made for such a sketchy visual that NBC didn’t even follow the lighting of the torch. Or, who thought it would be great to have an opera singer lip synch the Olympic hymn after the Chinese lip-synch fiasco? And, what’s up with 4 First Nations chiefs being (noticeably) absent for the start of the event? After all they are only sitting by the top IOC chiefs and the top dignitaries of our country (Prime Minister Harper and Governor General Jean). Finally, let’s put on a You Tube poet to make an ode to our nation. I just got the sense that some of the opening ceremonies seemed to be made by a committee. And that’s not the way to make our nation’s ad to the world.