Rio 2016 and beyond

Posted by
10 8 2012

Ahead of the Olympic torch handover to Brazil this Sunday, all eyes are on Rio in the run up to 2016.

Much of the Brazilians’ presence in London over the past few weeks has been an education exercise, to learn from our mistakes and ensure 2016 is a better experience than London, to procure sponsors and most importantly to use London’s model for generating revenue.

But Rio 2016 has an edge over London besides mere experience: investment impetus.  For the Brazilians, the Olympics are a sideshow.  Casa Brasil has opened in Somerset House to encourage investment in security, infrastructure and security in Brazil over the next four years.  Film Brazil, a project to encourage media interest in Brazil set up shop in Cannes this year to generate interest in the advertising sectors.

Pertinently from a media perspective, the four years until Rio is likely to yield technology which will revolutionise the way sponsors can speak to the enormous audience available to them, in a way only previously dreamed about in celluloid.

Rio 2016 planners are no doubt keeping a very close eye on the latest opportunities for Out Of Home.  Earlier this year, we reported on Plan UK’s  ‘Because I Am A Girl’ campaign where women would see a 40 second clip on digital billboards across London and men would simply see a message inviting them to visit a website.

Facial detection technology is making it possible for brands to make their sponsorship space which is shown to a mass, cosmopolitan audience into some of the most targeted campaigns ever created.  According to a piece on the Huffington Post this week, this technology could go even further – an algorithm is being developed to judge whether you look “happy, sad, sick, healthy, comfortable or nervous”.

For current sponsors, this is great news.  But for Brazil and the Olympic brand in general, the doors it opens for a whole new genre of sponsorship are myriad.  2016 will be the showcase for a new generation of sponsors who no longer need an association with sport to make their presence relevant.  The superbrand monopoly on Olympic sponsorship may soon be over – brands can split costs, team up and reap the rewards.  At its most basic level, Nivea for Men can appear to men, Clinique moisturiser to women: all on the same site.

This means that come Rio 2016, if technology continues to evolve as it has been, and Brazil’s commitment to innovation remains just as strong, we are in for a very different brand Olympics.  And all for the better, we say.

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