Lean On Your Edges: Storytelling That Makes The Difference


Peter_Gardner_web101 Peter_Gardner_web101 Peter Gardner, Senior Partnership Architect & Insights Developer

Day one of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games started in record breaking fashion for the Canadian Olympic Team. Mark McMorris rode his way to our first medal of the Games, competing on a gnarly slopestyle course — with a broken rib I might add. Meanwhile, the Dufour-Lapoint sisters made their mark on the first full day of competition by making the Olympic podium a family affair. The sisters dominated the moguls in Sochi, with Justine taking home Canada’s first gold medal of the Games and Chloe nabbing a silver.

The athletes aren’t the only ones leaning on their edges this year. Olympic sponsors are once again showing us their ability to develop an emotional connection with the consumer, and they’re doing it through storytelling.

P&G leapt the highest of all the partners in 2012 with their Thank You Mom campaign, and are carrying a lot of momentum into Sochi. As part of this year’s campaign, they are partnering with fellow TOP Partner Visa to help Olympic moms get to the Games, while on a brand level, Pantene®, Gillette®, Olay® and COVERGIRL®, have come together to create the P&G Family Home, a home away from home experience located in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Park. The Family Home will be open for the duration of the Games and is offering moms and families all the comforts of home including providing beauty and grooming services, while Pampers will be offering changing services for families with young children.

Even though it may be their first Olympic Games and everybody is watching, the newest members of the Canadian Olympic Partner family are coming out of the start gates with energy, enthusiasm, and love of country and competition that rivals any of their more experienced Olympic marketing peers. Canadian Tire in particular has launched a particularly strong ‘trust your edges’ kind of marketing program that allows them to tap into consumer passion, ritual, and loyalty that is unique to the Olympic Games. The retail giant’s Canadian Tire retail brand is using storytelling to remind us that “We All Play For Canada”, and that play and sport are a part of what makes us Canadian. Its SportChek brand, on the other hand is taking more of an aspirational approach to their activation strategy, which aligns beautifully with the brand’s new high performance market position. The “#WHATITTAKES” campaign makes our Olympians the stars of the story and highlights the attributes that make each of them world and Olympic champions in their sports. SportChek is also congratulating their Olympians in real time as way to keep the campaign dynamic and social media friendly.

A good story is like a good edge. If you lean on it and trust your experience, it will take you to where you want to go and maybe, just maybe, that edge will get you there ahead of everybody else.