The Olympics are increasingly catching the fancy of marketers, but it is clear that the Games are not as hot in cricket-crazy India.
McDonald’s, the Games’ official restaurantier, ran an in-store promotion where on every purchase of a Happy Meal, children would get a trivia card that highlights a sport and an Olympic ring to boot. Five rings would fetch a Beijing trip.
Mobile phone service provider BPL Mobile has created a wireless Internet portal, (atcafe.bplmobile.com) through which subscribers can get event updates on the Games.
The Ministry of Tourism is using the occasion to boost its “Incredible India!” campaign — complete with ads in Beijing subway stations.
Tata Communications is promoting its Intelligent CAMEL eXchange, a technology service that cuts costs and time in international prepaid roaming.
However, analysts say the Games have still a long way to go in India – which is exemplified by many big brands doing nothing about the event.
“Olympics as a form of sport, especially in light of India’s performance, is not as popular as say a Twenty-20 cricket match, resulting very little interest from brands,” said Naimish Dave, director at OC&C Strategy Consultants.
However, for companies like Delhi-based Aokang, which is an official leather goods supplier for the Olympics, the occasion is right.
“We plan to make the most of this opportunity,” said Anirudh Banerjee, Aokang’s CEO.