Plenty of Free Publicity Coming out of Vancouver

By Mike Young

In my section of COMM 420, we recently discussed a study posted on Adage.com that analyzed brand awareness during the Olympics. The study found that Olympic viewers were more likely to recall an ad or its message if they saw it while the Olympics were being broadcast. For advertising and PR professionals, this is like striking gold. If one wants to get special exposure, the Olympics can be utilized as a vehicle for publicity. If I were a corporate PR professional, I would be doing everything in my power to have my staff write and circulate releases about what special things the company is doing that are associated with the Olympics.

Also, after reading about this study, another fact dawned on me. I realized that advertisers/PR professionals do indeed take advantage of the Olympics by releasing special Olympic editions of their products. Take Coca Cola for example. I often remember seeing Olympic styled coke cans and packaging since I was very young, which leads me to my concluding point. As a future PR practitioner, I will always be sure to search out large, internationally known events to associate with, if applicable, because the opportunities for publicity are astronomical and will pay off large dividends in the end.

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