It's probably one of the most read articles in the UK marketing community this morning: eMarketer has just released a paper on "How Digital Will the London Olympics Be?", based on Deloitte stats from May, 2012.
The figures are not really so positive at this stage; if a large amount of people will watch part of the Olympic Games on TV, we don't feel yet a general enthusiasm when it comes to Social Media and sharing the Olympic state of mind in Social networks.
I had a conversation with senior advertisers last week, and some trends confirm this lack of interest by the general public.
- there's no surge in bookings according to The Telegraph. Some insiders say that hotels are 30% empty, except in the most exclusive spots
- local initiatives, arranged by local people in London, have been banned for legal reasons: Olympic Games are dramatically paranoid when it comes to the "official" licenses
It's a pity, because there are now all the popular "don'ts" to make the Games less social than it should be:
- brands massively invest in media advertising, not in communities' activation. We are few weeks from the Games now, and except some companies like Coca Cola, you don't see much engagement programmes; in fact, you see many programmes to escape the Olympic fever in London at the moment
- being a control-freak with licenses is absurd: people who could promote the Games in their local communities face legal issues. If you don't transform a fan who wants to help you, he's certainly going to give his time to another cause
- in Socia Media, you very often need a core community of activists. It's important to focus on the local community, as they provide many assets: knowledge of the places, networks, rooms.
At the end, the hope can come from athletes themselves; as they're far more digital-savy than during the previous Games, their natural audiences can save the spirit. "From the people, to the people", so to say.