Staff Reporters
Aug 27, 2012

Coca-Cola, Adidas and McDonald’s lead Olympic perception in China: R3

BEIJING - Coca-Cola has scored 15 per cent higher on awareness for the 2012 London Olympics than it did four years ago, the highest recall among Olympic athlete endorsement campaigns, according to a new study by marketing consultancy R3.

Foreign brands topped the rankings as the most recalled sponsors this past quarter.
Foreign brands topped the rankings as the most recalled sponsors this past quarter.

R3 has benchmarked Brand Association in China with the 2012 London Olympics, as well as consumer anticipation and involvement for the next Olympics, following on the success of the Beijing Olympics four years ago. 

The study surveyed 1,500 Chinese consumers across 10 cities. Multinational players took the lead in Olympic engagement, with 10 foreign brands topping the rankings as the most recalled sponsors this past quarter.

After Coca-Cola, Adidas, McDonald's, BMW, Samsung, Panasonic, Acer, Nike, Lenovo and P&G rounded out the top 10.

Coca-Cola has been a consistent winner in garnering the awareness of consumers, according to R3’s Olympic Engagement research in China for the past six years. To usher in the 2012 London Olympic Games, Coca-Cola launched its ‘Beat of China’ campaign using interactive digital communications as its platform.

“Coke’s hefty investments in digital marketing have struck a chord with Chinese consumers, and it plays out in awareness,” said Bella Teng, senior researcher at R3. “At 61 per cent level of spontaneous awareness as an Olympics sponsor, this even outperformed their 46 per cent levels prior to Beijing,” she added.

Athlete endorsements and Olympic-inspired product line extensions enjoyed the highest level of recognition among consumers recalling Olympics campaigns.

Coca-Cola’s campaign awareness outshined other Olympics campaigns, with 17 per cent of consumers recalling Coke’s sports star campaigns, specifically with swim star Sun Yang, the new Olympic 400m freestyle champion, and 14 per cent recalling Coke’s Olympic-related products. 58 per cent of consumers also claimed increased purchase intent for Coca-Cola.

The high levels of consumer recall the brand has generated suggest that its Olympics campaign has gained traction with consumers through tapping into national pride held among Chinese youth for star athletes in order to increase brand impression.

Campaign China

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