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Let the marketing games begin!

With officially less than 365 days to go, people in Vancouver and the rest of Canada are starting to feel a little pre-Olympic buzz. And with the buzz, the MARKETING games have begun.

Petro-Canada’s recent Olympic glassware promotion is a great example of how integrating online and traditional media can reap huge success. With a nod to the past, the 30 second TV commercial states, “It was 1988, the Calgary Winter Games, when the country came together to support Olympic athletes, with glasses,” says the voice over. “Isn’t it time to do it again? It continues. “Buy the glass and support Canadian athletes, only at Petro-Canada.” The voice over and music audio is reminiscent of a homey Hotel 6 spot, as it pans the cupboards and garage shelves where some of those 1988 glasses now reside. The use of TV is obviously aimed at mass reach, likely best to connect with Canadians over 35. But they also utilized social networking through Facebook for an online campaign. The company offered free ‘virtual’ versions of the glasses that Facebook users could send their friends as gifts. Petro-Canada donated 50 cents for every virtual glass passed along to support Canada’s Olympic athletes. Their goal was to donate $50,000. Their gift giving number spiked to 70,000 in the first day and they had achieved their goal of 100,000 virtual gifts within three days. Most of the Facebook givers were women drivers aged 18-34. The online campaign was aimed at creating buzz for the actual glassware which retail for $3.99 half of which is donated to support Canadian athletes. The Facebook application allowed them to connect with individual Canadians, and then use their personal network of friends to share the content to a mass number of people. The donation angle, a unique initiative, appealed to their online target audience. This campaign shows a great use of traditional mass media TV combined with online digital ‘word of mouse’. Brilliant.

Link here for more coverage on this initiative: http://www.marketingmag.ca/english/news/marketer/article.jsp?content=20090116_151033_40908

Link here to see the TV spot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGC_NZRkgyQ

Mary Charleson

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