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Ads that Go for the Gold: Top Olympics Commercials According to Cadent Employees

By Christina Nuti
07/10/24 3 MIN READ

The Summer Olympics in Paris are quickly approaching as brands and fans get ready to celebrate the spirit of competition, tradition, and global unity. This year, NBCU will report on the games along with Peacock, Universo, and Telemundo. AdAge reported that, “According to Nielsen Fan Insights, U.S. general public interest in the Paris Olympics is at 36% – second only to the NFL over the last six months – and nearly two-thirds of fans are planning on watching at least some coverage of the Paris Games.  

Whether you’re an underdog or a returning champion, the Olympic Games honor hard work, mental tenacity, and the belief that anything is possible. As audiences prepare to cheer on their countries’ athletes in their trials and triumphs, we asked our employees to share their favorite Olympics commercials over the years. Let’s look at the ads they voted for bronze, silver, and gold, and explore what elements made these ads the most memorable. 

Gold: Thank You, Mom – Procter and Gamble (2012)

Aside from being a tear-jerker (no matter how many times you’ve watched it), “Thank you, Mom” is hands-down an all-time favorite by Procter & Gamble (who, according to Fast Company, is shifting their focus this year to ads dedicated to their brands). The spot features moms and their children from around the world, growing up and playing the sports they love. Moms work tirelessly behind the scenes, waking their kids up early, getting them to practice, and rooting them on from the sidelines. From the joys of watching their success to feeling the lows of injuries and defeat, moms of Olympic athletes are celebrated as unsung heroes in this successful multi-year campaign for Procter & Gamble.  

Silver: We’re the Superhumans – Channel 4 (2016)

“We’re the Superhumans” by Channel 4 comes in second, bringing positivity, perspective, and music in this promotion during the 2016 Paralympics in Rio. The ad celebrates differences between Olympic and Paralympic athletes by demonstrating how Paralympic athletes compete in their respective sports as well as what it looks like to complete everyday tasks. The ad features the song “Yes, I Can,” which may remind you of a recent powerful ad campaign for World Down Syndrome Day 2024 called “Assume That I Can.” The Channel 4 campaign aims to tackle stereotypes, biases, and low expectations of those with disabilities by driving awareness and spreading the uplifting message that anything is possible. 

Bronze: Find Your Greatness – Nike (2012)

Ranked third, we have “Find Your Greatness” by Nike which features a jogger running down a road, getting closer and closer in the frame. The jogger, an amateur athlete, isn’t what you would typically picture for an Olympics advertisement, as the voiceover explains how greatness isn’t just for ‘prodigies’ or ‘superstars,’ but that we’re all capable of greatness. The ad plays on the idea that anyone can be an athlete in their own right, a common theme found in the Olympics and sports campaigns (because don’t we all love Cinderella stories?). This year, Nike plans on spending more on the Olympic games than ever before and is making more noise on social media now that Rule 40 regulations have loosened. 

Carrying the Torch for Olympic Advertisers 

As you think about your strategy for the fast-approaching 2024 Paris Olympics, consider how Cadent can help you reach your target audiences across streaming, cable, and broadcast with its Performance TV solutions. As categories begin selling out network direct, Cadent can help you activate not only live in-game content but also on shoulder content and digital ads surrounding the Olympic games. 

Ready to activate your upcoming Olympics advertising campaign? Don’t miss the chance to secure packages for this year’s games.