Monday, August 11, 2008

McDonald’s and Coca-Cola Continue to Lead Coverage of Games’ Global Sponsors

By Dow Jones Insight Staff

Now that the Beijing Olympics have begun, the 12 global sponsors of the Games hope to see the returns on their significant advertising investments. McDonald’s has moved into the lead among the global sponsors in coverage in traditional media sources. Between July 28 and August 10, McDonald’s had 426 mentions, or 20% of the top 10 companies’ 2,121 mentions, in traditional media sources analyzed by Dow Jones Insight. Coca-Cola was close behind, with 352 mentions, or 17%. A number of mentions for both McDonald’s and Coca-Cola focused not on the companies’ Olympic ads, but rather on the ubiquity of the products themselves in Beijing.

Lenovo, the only Chinese company among the global sponsors, was third with 302 mentions, for 14%. Visa was fourth, with 277 mentions, for 13%. General Electric and Samsung each garnered 10% of the total mentions, and Omega, the official timekeeper of the Games, had 115 mentions, for 5%. Johnson & Johnson and Panasonic each had 4%. French IT company Atos Origin rounded out the top 10 with 50 mentions, or 2%. The remaining two sponsors, Manulife and Kodak, failed to make the top 10.

In social media sources analyzed by Dow Jones, Coca-Cola had 316 of 1,165 total mentions, for 27%, and a sizeable lead over second-place McDonald’s, which had 222 mentions, or 19%. Coverage of these two companies on blogs and message boards included numerous generally enthusiastic mentions of their Olympic tie-in products, including commemorative soda cans and special menu items. However, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s also attracted negative attention in the social media, with a number of mentions critical of the companies for their connections to China and its questionable human rights and environmental policies.

Visa followed in third, with 163 mentions, or 14%. Visa’s coverage was split between comments about its TV commercials and about Team Visa, a sponsorship program for promising European athletes. General Electric had 127 mentions, or 11%, many of which referred to NBC’s coverage of the Games. Lenovo had 107 mentions for 9%, and Samsung had 99 mentions for 8%. Panasonic and Omega each had 3% of the total mentions, and Kodak and Johnson & Johnson each had 2%. Manulife and Atos Origin didn’t make 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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