Rio 2016: 3 Brands That Engaged Consumers in Emotional Conversations


Zeno Group will be sharing a series of blog posts around the 2016 Olympic Games. Here is the second post by Monica Lourenci, Executive Vice President of Zeno Brazil. 

The Olympic Games are the largest multicultural sporting event in the world. They also present a unique challenge for the communications field: with an entire industry mobilizing to engage consumers and generate record levels of engagement, how can we set ourselves apart?

However, as the Olympics come to a close this year, we’ve witnessed a unique trend. There is a notable shift in how brands engaged with their audiences during these Olympic Games – they leveraged emotional connections and engaged in conversations. It was less “consumer-focused” and more “human-focused.”

Below are three campaigns I think best represented this trend: 

1. Bradesco: #ChamaQueTransforma

Bradesco is the largest private banks in Brazil. They made their mark even before the start of the Olympic games by requesting stories from individuals, reflecting Olympic and Paralympic values of excellence, respect and friendship. More than 15,000 entries were received. Those selected were not only shared on social media with the hashtag #ChamaQueTransforma (#flamethatchanges), but those individuals also participated in the torch relay. The #ChamaQueTransforma campaign reached more than  192 million people on Facebook alone. Additionally, the visual focus point of the campaign, Gabriel, told the true story of a Paralympic athlete and received more than 36 million views on YouTube.  

2. Coca-Cola: #IssoÉOuro

Earlier in 2016, Coca-Cola globally launched their new slogan “Taste the Feeling.” This slogan was reiterated throughout the Olympic Games and inspired their campaign #IssoÉOuro (#ThisIsGold). #IssoÉOuro invited individuals to reflect on the feelings associated with ‘winning’ or succeeding – whether it was a medal, passing a test, celebrating a friend’s birthday or driving a parent’s car for the first time. The brand also invested in strengthening ties with the younger audience, setting up an entertainment space called Parada Coca-Cola. This space was featured live performances, music and much more. To engage individuals that couldn’t be there in person, they leveraged Facebook Live to stream events going on in the venue and interacted with their audience through other forms of social media.

3. GE

GE engaged in a conversation-focused campaign, promotion dialogue between GE and its stakeholders. They encouraged discussions surrounding the creation of solutions critical for the development of large cities (including Rio). GE featured their own solutions and shared their success stories, but focused on continuing to contribute to infrastructure development of the country. They also created a special web series on science and innovation, bringing back the characters of Tíbio & Perônio from the show Castle Ra-Tim-Bum. These two characters answered similar questions on this children’s show in the 1990s, allowing for these now-adults to reconnect with their childhood.

And so what?

The most important thing to note is that, although this was the most digital Olympics of all time, the brands wanted to engage in conversation with their consumers. The campaigns were based in values, purpose and human emotion. They also managed to capture the beauty of Brazil and build on the pride of being Brazilian despite the controversial political climate.

Per the Human Project, when brands engage in conversation with consumers. They build an emotional connection with their products or services, inviting users to try them and then demonstrate the value of their product. With the emphasis on conversation, brands have started to understand who their consumers are and their behaviors, values and attitudes. With this shift in both mindset and conversation, deep connections are the focus and, for engagement, the sky is the limit.

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