With the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London quickly approaching (less than 100 days away), companies are searching for ways to advertise, market, and (eventually) profit off of the upcoming games. Companies may strategically place the well-known multi-colored Olympic rings on their product to show either official sponsorship (McDonald’s), or that their network is the only place you can watch the games (NBC-Universal). Other companies may spend the 4 year interval searching for the perfect way to reach audiences and maximize exposure. Samsung and Facebook have teamed up, and they think they have a gold medal idea.
The Facebook app takes all of the information you have submitted to Facebook about yourself, and compares it against an extensive database of US Olympic athletes (alumni, current, and hopefuls). You receive points based on a multitude of different possibilities. Maybe you both went to the same college (Oregon alumni Andrew Wheating), or maybe you both list Arrested Development as one of your favorite shows (Fencing team member Gerek Meinhardt).
Samsung, the company which is sponsoring the app, says that their goal is to being attention to non-headlining athletes, and are using two proven outlets to help meet their goal. First, the Summer Olympics. The 16 day event is the talk for the WORLD. Citizens of almost every country are intently tuned in to see what may happen. And as stated before, every company wants to have a stake in the action. As a company, the trick is figuring out how to separate yourself from all of the others. And that is where Facebook comes into play.
In the new media world of “social networking,” Facebook is king. Those who use the platform properly and effectively will reach a mass audience (Facebook currently boasts 800+ million active users). Users can use the Facebook format to share the app to their friends, have conversation about the app, get excited for the upcoming games, and, hopefully, remember the Samsung brand as innovators of a fun device. And while the outward mission statement of the company may be to bring more exposure to lesser known athletes, the goal is always to maximize visibility as a brand.
Overall, I had fun with the app. It offered areas of interest, including news updates, alerts, and trivia. I think it will be a successful campaign for both Facebook and Samsung, and (hopefully) bring more attention to the athletes Samsung is hoping to highlight.