Originality, elements of surprise and increased engagement are fast becoming expected parts of the retail environment – and the Olympic spotlight has provided a catalyst for brands to put on their best shop front show.
So if in-store marketing was an Olympic event, which brand would win gold for innovation and creativity? After all, it hasn’t just been the official brand sponsors activating in-store marketing campaigns - other brands have also come up with the goods, producing all manner of live in-store installations and interactive shopper experiences.
The approaches adopted by the official sponsors have varied significantly. Some are more visual, others more interactive - but they all target a specific audience. McDonald’s has created a mosaic to capture the core message ‘We All Make The Games’, which includes photos of staff, partners and customers and is targeted at all ages and types of customers. Coca-Cola’s ‘Move to the Beat’ campaign aims to connect with the youth audience as it fuses Olympic sport with London music. Adidas’ campaign, ‘Fancy Footwork’, consists of a virtual in-store footwear wall and Visa’s ‘Speed-shopping’ is an integrated point of sale campaign working with other retailers.
However, it’s not just the official sponsors who have pulled out the stops. For example,Swarovski is celebrating the preview of its new Autumn/Winter collection over the Olympic period with a live illustration event in the windows of its Regent Street boutique. The ‘Iconic London’ campaign, created by Haygarth, has seen talented artist duo Goodwives and Warriors paint a live large-scale illustration in the boutique’s window celebrating iconic London landmarks, culture, architecture and fashion. Fans and customers can tweet which London landmarks they want to be painted and get their names and Twitter handles incorporated into the piece of art.
It’s an interesting example of live marketing activity from a not-inherently-‘sporty’ fashion brand that hasn’t been shoehorned into the Olympics theme, but has managed to use the focus on London to increase brand engagement beyond the context of the Olympics: during the campaign Swarovski’s number of Facebook fans has increased by 100%.
In-store marketing that can align itself with online customer advocacy in this way has the potential to impact a brand on a long-term basis. For those brands sponsoring the Olympics, the question remains as to whether their campaigns have longevity after the Games. Will they have fulfilled their purpose and attracted the desired target audience through the duration of the Games? What happens next?
I’m looking forward to seeing brands create their own Olympic legacy and become more and more creative with their in-store marketing.