Let The Games Begin – Introducing The 2012 Marketing Olympics

I recently heard a very interesting interview on NPR about sports that are constantly being added or dropped from the Olympic Games.  It seems that women’s boxing is the only new sport added to this year’s Summer Olympics, although BMX (bicycle motocross) will make its second appearance and baseball and softball have been dropped. I also learned that the once very popular sports of tug-of-war and bicycle polo were eliminated years ago after much discussion and angst.
 
It got me thinking about what ‘sports’ might be included in a “2012 Marketing Olympics“ and how these ‘sports’ have changed over the years. 
 
  • World’s Fastest Tweeter - Competition to see who could send the most 140 character Tweets in 5 minutes. There would be no age limits, as it no doubt would be won by a 12-year old girl (OMG).  However, there is a rumor that a 100-year old, three-thumbed Chinese man may be a dark-horse challenger.
  • Location Marketing Triathlon - Competition to see who can find the Olympic Mascots Wenlock and Mandeville at different locations in London. All the competitors meet for a Tweet-Up at the last location - of course, no talking allowed.
  • Measurement Marathon - Competitors make long, boring presentations of how you can measure marketing ROI. Several points are awarded for good measurement methods and techniques but no medals are presented as the judges decide there is no empirical proof that you can measure marketing’s contribution to bottom line ROI - although they all agree it is extremely valuable.
  • Target Marketing - This would be a combined event with the archery competitors whereby a team of international marketing gurus write dastardly clever and strategic MarCom messages that would be attached to the arrows. The team with the most bull’s eyes would win and receive exclusive rights to use the image in their marketing campaigns until the next Olympics - a real prize considering marketers love to use images of arrows going into targets in their various presentations.
  • Campaign Wrestling Match - Teams made up of clients and their agencies wrestle over the best strategies and techniques for a marketing campaign. Points are awarded based on best ideas and strategies and competitors are allowed to switch from the clients’ to the agencies’ side during the match. No hair pulling is allowed but mudslinging is permitted.
  • PR Prowess Pentathlon - This competition is based on how much PR agencies can generate for their clients in five areas - print, broadcast, digital, social media, and experiential. However, the medals are presented several months after the Olympics when all the results can be measured.
  • ‘Big Idea‘ Ping Pong - Competitors keep bouncing ‘Big Ideas‘ back and forth until someone finally gives in.
  • Synchronized Sniffling – This is where a two-person team made up of a client and agency executive explain to a panel of judges, playing the role of the company CEO, why the campaign was a disaster. Extra points are awarded for creative groveling.
  • Copywriting Clash - Copywriters create as many wickedly ingenious headlines and copy blocks as they can in an hour’s time. A panel of judges then presents medals based on points awarded. All competitors except the winners then complain that the judges just aren’t cool enough to “get it” and then adjourn to the closest pub where they talk about how clever they are and how dense everyone else is.
What are some other ‘sports’ you would like to see included in the Marketing Olympics?  While you are thinking about that, here are some ‘sports’ that have been eliminated from the Marketing Olympics:
  • Faxing Follies - Does anyone besides doctor’s offices and travel companies offering special deals still use faxes?
  • Keyliner Competition - If you are under 40 you probably don’t know that before desktop computing you had to order type from a typesetting house and then lay it out manually with an Exacto knife. These people were called keyliners and have gone the way of the buggy whip.
  • Direct Mail Decathlon - Although direct mail can still be a very effective marketing tool, digital marketing and increasing postal rates have relegated direct mail marketing to the “stepson” category for many marketers. 
  • Typing Sprint - Before there was spell check and even before self-correcting word processors, fast and accurate typing was considered a valuable skill. Intuitive, automatic self-correcting software has made this a moot skill. 
  • Flash Mob Frolic - Flash mobs are becoming so passé. Now it’s “Drama” experiential marketing.
I’d love to hear your ideas. Let’s make the 2012 Marketing Olympics the best ever.
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