Visa, traditionally a large sponsor of the Olympic games, had already finished 80% of its creatives when the games were officially postponed. Now, rather than suspending its ad strategy, the brand has produced a new campaign starring a myriad of Olympic athletes.
Following the decision to postpone the Summer Games until 2021, Visa adjusted its ad strategy to relate more with what consumers are facing in current circumstances, according to a Gartner report. Through a new series of PSA’s, Visa recruited international athletes to remind viewers to wash their hands and stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Do Your Part Like An Olympian” campaign rolled out two ads starring professional skateboarder Sky Brown and BMX rider Kenneth Tencio performing athletic tricks around their house before going to the bathroom and emphasizing the importance of washing their hands. The short ads end with the text “Sanitize your hands like an Olympian. #StayHome”.
Visa has already rolled out a few spots, but plans to produce ads featuring all ninety of its Olympic and Paralympic ambassadors in the next couple of weeks. The ads are running on social media, digital media, and television; each ad highlights the importance of self-distancing and hand washing, and features the athletes in their own homes. The ads are similar to what Visa previously planned to air during the Summer Games—originally athletes would perform tough sporting feats juxtaposed with the ease of using Visa products. While Visa quickly had to alter its initial strategy, the brand has offered all of the athletic ambassadors the option to extend their partnerships through 2021.
Several big-league advertisers for the Summer Olympic Games are quickly working through the commotion of the postponement—and while many brands have already completed their creatives and will premiere them a year from now, Visa is proving this isn’t the only option. By adapting to the current market and producing timely displays, Visa could demonstrate how to keep creativity going while remaining relevant in a rapidly changing environment.