By Matt Egan – Published August 21, 2012 – FOXBusiness
With the London Olympics now in the books, it’s time for the multinational companies that splurged on pricey ad campaigns to assess whether it was worth it to have their logos plastered all over the games.
After all, global brands like Coca-Cola (KO: 39.61, +0.14, +0.35%), Procter & Gamble (PG: 66.97, +0.22, +0.33%) and General Electric (GE: 21.02, +0.10, +0.45%) didn’t shell out tens of millions of dollars purely out of their love for the Games.
It’s too early to tell how sales were impacted by the association with the Olympics. However, a new study by WPP’s (WPPGY: 68.25, +0.56, +0.83%) Wunderman shows that while most Olympic sponsors enjoyed a surge in social-media engagement, their brand favorability on Facebook (FB: 19.71, -0.30, -1.50%), Twitter and other social media have only “marginally increased” thus far.
“I thought we’d see a lot more positivity around the brands because they were the custodians of the content,” said Jonathan Lyon, head of strategic insights at Wunderman U.K. “They didn’t benefit as much as we thought they would in the short-term.”
For the eleven worldwide Olympic partners, the report found that brand favorability inched up just 0.6% during the period of the games.
“Being an Olympics sponsor is not an obvious decision for companies,” said Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
To be sure, it is early to assess the impact of the sponsorships and some brands did enjoy a significant jump in favorability.
For example, Visa’s (V: 128.50, +0.34, +0.27%) favorability soared by 4.2%, thanks in part to the card giant’s association with Olympic superstar Usain Bolt, who won a trio of gold medals in London.
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