Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Coca-Cola, Visa Earn Coverage of Their Television Commercials

By Dow Jones Insight Staff

The Beijing Olympic Games have drawn to a close, and coverage of the Games’ 12 global sponsors is closing just as it began, with McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Visa leading the way. Between August 11 and August 25, McDonald’s had 673 of the top 10 companies’ 3,566 mentions, or 19%, in traditional media sources analyzed by Dow Jones Insight. Visa and Coca-Cola were close behind, with 18% of mentions each. Coverage of McDonald’s was centered on the company’s physical presence in Beijing, while Visa and Coca-Cola garnered coverage due to their ads. Mentions of Visa focused on the company’s “Go World” ad campaign and its sponsorship of Michael Phelps.

General Electric followed with 455 mentions, for 13%. Much of the coverage of GE focused on the ratings for NBC’s coverage of the Games. Coverage of Omega nearly doubled compared to the previous two-week period analyzed by Dow Jones Insight, from 5% to 9% for the period of August 11-25. Omega got a boost in coverage due to its position as the “official timekeeper” of the games. The company was surprisingly thrust into the spotlight after Phelps’ last-second, by-a-fraction-of-a-fingertip victory over Serbian Milorad Cavic in the 100-meter butterfly. To spectators, the finish seemed to be a dead heat, but Omega’s timing system had Phelps in first with a time of 50.58 seconds and Cavic in second with a time of 50.59 seconds. The finish was backed up by digital photos captured by Omega’s overhead cameras.

Samsung and Lenovo, the latter being the only Chinese company among the global sponsors, had 7% of mentions each. Johnson & Johnson had 181 mentions, or 5%. Kodak and Panasonic each had 2% of mentions. French IT company, Atos Origin, and Canadian financial services company, Manulife, failed to make the top 10.

In social media sources analyzed by Dow Jones, Coca-Cola took the top spot, with 735 of 2,974 total mentions, for 25%. McDonald’s was close behind with 656 mentions, for 22%. Visa followed in third, with 491 mentions, for 17%. Coverage of the top three companies on blogs and message boards seemed to focus on their television ads, with Coca-Cola getting positive reviews for its commercial featuring a montage of gold medal ceremonies for Olympians and Special Olympians. While much of the negative attention garnered by Coca-Cola and McDonald’s has diminished as the Games have wound down, there were still some mentions critical of the companies for their connections to China and its questionable human rights and environmental policies.

GE was fourth with 265 mentions, for 9%. Lenovo had 8% of mentions and Samsung and Omega had 7% each. Johnson & Johnson, Kodak and Panasonic each had 2% of mentions. Atos Origin and Manulife again failed to crack the top 10.

Methodology: Analysis includes the English-language sources taken from a database of 6,000 newspapers, wires, magazines, radio and TV transcripts; about 13,000 current-awareness news sites; 60,000 message boards and about two million blogs.

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