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Best Digital Advertisements During the 2016 Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) threw in a game changer this year for advertisers allowing non-sponsor brands to launch marketing campaigns related to the games. However, even these advertisers have to play by the Olympic rules, Rule 40, and had to submit waivers and marketing plans to the IOC by certain dates. The new rule let several advertisers take advantage of the games and use it as a marketing opportunity. Although, we are unsure of which brands submitted packets to the IOC, here are the advertisers that stood out to us while not being able to mention the Olympics specifically:

Under Armour, who is not an official sponsor of the Olympics, launched their “Rule Yourself” campaign featuring gold medalist Michael Phelps as he trains for the games. This advertisement uses only video and music to convey the emotion Phelps goes through as he endures practices, weight training and muscle relaxers while training for his last games.


Homage, a clothing company, used pictures of their products to promote the Olympics by forming their clothing to look like the Olympic rings. This creative advertisement incorporated the games without breaking any of the IOC’s rules.




Amazon used a tournament bracket with the hashtag #TheYoungerGames to use Olympic references and grab the attention of their younger audience.


Best Buy used a gymnastic reference to try to captivate their audience and keep up with the Olympic trend.



Although there were a handful of advertisers that were restricted on their marketing creativity during the games, some of the official sponsors brought their A-game to the floor. Here’s a few that were our favorites:

Gillette launched a campaign prior to the Olympics showing a glimpse into the lives of three athletes in training by highlighting the struggles and sacrifices they give in hopes to get the gold. This emotional video shows the hard work and dedication that is behind an athlete training for the games.


This heart wrenching commercial shows the type of bond an athlete has with their parents as Missy Franklin reads a letter she wrote to her parents. This advertisement did a great job not just focusing on the Olympics, but a person in the Olympics, and the story that person has to tell.




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