#VisaGoWorld Olympic Campaign: “Social To The Core”

Visa's 2012 Summer Olympic campaign uses social mediaVisa’s “Go World” marketing program – around since 2008 –  has launched a new, massive global social media campaign called “global cheer” for London’s 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Visa has been a sponsor of the Olympic Games for 25 years, but this campaign will be the largest yet – involving over 70 countries –  with a strong focus on social media, encouraging consumers around the world to root for their favorite athletes at the 2012 Summer Games.

“It will be more social than ever before,” Antonio Lucio, global chief marketing, strategy and corporate development officer at Visa, told The New York Times, as “people’s cheers fuel athletes’ performance.”

How it works:

Fans worldwide can create and submit “cheers” in the form of a one-click cheer, post, comment or video on Visa’s Facebook page, YouTube channel or through partner websites, including NBCOlympics.com, Yahoo and Sports Illustrated, according to Chief Marketer.  Fans can also voice support on Twitter with the hashtag #VisaGoWorld.

In addition, fans can visit the ‘Go World’ app on Facebook to submit cheers and for the chance to win a trip to the 2012 Games.

The social aspects of the campaign build on TV and digital advertising, local promotions, athlete support and a sweepstakes that proved highly successful during the last Olympics, with quite the grand prize: a trip to the Olympic Games for the rest of the winner’s life.  Alex Craddock, head of North America marketing for Visa, has worked on every Olympic marketing program since Salt Lake City in 2002. He told Chief Marketer that Visa will be updating their traditional congratulations TV spots by including the fan cheers – submitted via social media – in the congratulatory spots.

The campaign is also adapting to local markets, remaining flexible enough to include over 60 Olympic athletes, modifying language and creative content to encourage cheers in their local markets.

The goal:

The goal is to help fans become “enveloped by the enthusiasm and get behind the athletes and cheer them on” — recognizing human achievement together as “one world.” In the past, Visa itself was cheering on the athletes through their “Go world” promotions. Now there’s a new spin, and through social media, Visa is asking the cardholders to join in and cheer for their favorite athletes.

The London campaign is the first that will be “social to the core” with the goal of tapping into “the passion” consumers have for the Games and the incredible achievements of the athletes. According to Craddock, “Social allows every fan around the world to be able to participate in London 2012, to get closer to The Games and the athletes themselves, to be able to cheer for the athletes and to share those cheers with their friends.”

Measuring ROI:

Craddock told Chief Marketer that the next three months would be about monitoring the campaign’s performance and analysis to continually optimize their efforts. In the past, activating around the Games has bumped up the company’s return on investment, which can be tracked down to transactional levels.

With goals centered around engagement and sharing, there are many different metrics to track, but the main focus is on these three: video views, “likes” on Facebook and other content, and the cheers themselves. While Craddock was unwilling to share specific numbers, he said that Visa has “done a lot of analysis to build from the bottom up what the expectations are that we would consider a success.”

The biggest challenge, according to Craddock, is “ensuring that the experiences that you put out there are evolving at the same pace as consumer changes.” This means orchestrating social content across multiple platforms to deliver a great user experience, all as part of “the most global campaign we’ve ever done.”