How Popular Has Sochi Been?

SnowboardingGoldAmerican Gold Medal Winner, and Idaho-born, Sage Kotsenburg is lifted into the air by Silver Medal winner Staale Sandbech from Norway in a very classy Olympic moment.

Media outlets are beginning to report TV ratings, brands have been releasing new marketing and the Winter Olympics have kicked off in solid form. We’ve seen America rank high in the medal count, audiences rank high in the viewer count and several brands doing smart things across all accounts.

Take Airbnb. It didn’t take long for #SochiProblems to begin surfacing on Twitter. Hotels weren’t ready, or even finished being built yet, so journalists and athletes made it known whenever their rooms lacked doorknobs and hot water. It was then that Airbnb pounced with a very smart real time marketing effort.

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Along with real time social marketing, TV ratings have been strong. NBC made the decision to air the Opening Ceremonies during prime time, versus live. The significant time difference caused a drop in viewership from Vancouver, which was broadcast live in the US, but the drop was only three percent. (And it probably would have been more had they chosen to air live.)  31.7 million Americans watched Sochi’s opening ceremonies; Vancouver brought in 32.7 million four years ago.

Interestingly, this was the second-most watched, non-live, winter Opening Ceremonies on record. Here are the top five:

1994: Lillehammer—33.8 million viewers

2014: Sochi—31.7 million viewers

1998: Nagano—27.2 million viewers

1992: Albertvillle—24.0 million viewers

2006: Torino—22.2 million viewers

 Sochi’s Opening Ceremonies received a 17 rating / 28 share. (For those unfamiliar with media ratings this means that 17 percent of US TV households tuned in and, of those TVs that were in use during the broadcast, 28 percent of them were watching the Olympics.)

So which US markets tuned in the most? Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Ft. Meyers, Chicago, Boston and Kansas City were the top markets with each reporting ratings of over 21 and shares as high as 45.

Many marketers are taking advantage of these ratings.

P&G has continued with their emotional, and highly-praised, “thank you, mom” effort.

BMW introduced the i8.

JC Penney is out with a new tagline: “when it fits, you feel it” and even the most interesting man in the world has made an appearance… While Dos Equis is not an official Olympic Sponsor (Budweiser is only beer sponsor of Team USA) they found a way to be there, without officially being there.

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