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Getting your brand associated with the Olympics is usually the dream of any company – you’re guaranteed an ‘around the clock’ international audience.

And the London 2012 Olympics should be no exception.

But you’ve got to do it right – and it has to be memorable.

After all, advertising on this scale costs a lot of money.

Or does it?

It seems that some loopholes have been found – not by lawyers or marketing executives – but by Dr. Dre.

The Toronto Sun reports that the rapper and music producer has found a way of promoting one of his products – his Beats range of headphones – without having to pay advertising fees to the olympic committee.

How did he do this?

He gave his headphones away to the athletes.

And the athletes like them – so whenever you tune into the olympics and see somebody waiting to start, more often than not they’ll be wearing one of Dr. Dre’s headphones.

But what of the other sponsors, the proper ones?

Has the total investment of hundreds of millions of pounds been worth it?

Perhaps not.

According to research from ICM:

“More than half the UK population cannot confidently name a single Olympic sponsor”.

Not the news that Olympic organisers and sponsors would want to hear.

Delivering a sales message to a consumer audience is one of the things that makes the Olympics a credible marketing platform.

Companies such as Procter & Gamble are even using athletes – when they normally use Hollywood celebrities – to promote their brands.

According to marketing week – to promote Pantene shampoo – the company has passed over Liv Tyler and Eva Mendes for the British cyclist Victoria Pendleton.

Apparently, even when cycling at superhuman speeds, Pantene can stop the wind from damaging the hair of the Gold medal winner.

It’s just a pity that she always wears a helmet.

And as for the media

The London 2012 Olympics has seen traditional media – such as TV and newspapers – take on new media. Or should that be social media?

Twitter has never been so busy.

The Wall reports that – in the opening ceremony – during the 5 minutes that Rowan Atkinson (AKA Mr Bean) played chariots of fire, over 10,000 Tweets were sent.

And separate Twitter accounts were set up by angry Americans who were not – and apparently still aren’t – entirely happy at NBC’s Olympic coverage.

Just look up #NBCfail and #NBCsucks to see what I mean.

So whilst UK based critics are praising the very thorough coverage by the BBC, in the USA it seems that NBC is being condemned by an army of Tweeters.

A sentence that would have been ludicrous – in more ways than one – for a media coverage review of Beijing 2008.

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Image from Procter & Gamble Pantene Olympic Campaign

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