The Most Iconic Olympics Athlete Advertisements

If you want to see the best in media, you will have to check out Olympics athlete advertisements. Big brands pay major dollars to get their products noted during the Olympics and they are glorious to watch. Each year, some of the major brands usually put up billions of dollars for advertisements in the hopes of making a significant return on their investments.

They want to improve their brand’s visibility and skyrocket revenues by going Olympic. Some of these top brands spend millions for Super Bowl ads alone, in a bid to steal the show and become the most talked-about companies, but the Olympics is a different ball game. When it comes to sponsored ads, the Olympics usually takes a different approach in their messaging. They aren’t trying to hit your funnybone, but rather inspire the audience.


They have been known to tell us what really matters and how we should feel about it. Some of these ads remind us of how we got where we are today, and the other ensures that even after the Olympics, we still know that we are a united world. These are great ads and they generate a great deal of money for the companies that put them up. In this review, we look at some of the most popular and most talked-about Olympic adverts that featured an athlete.

Image Source: Wikipedia

What Are The Best Olympics Advertisements

Some of the best ads from the Olympics usually tug at our emotions, grab us and give us some time to take a pause and think about them. They force people to focus and think beyond themselves. These adverts have been known to consider the challenges of others and their plights. Let’s get into some of the best Olympics advertisements to-date.

2016 Olympics – Rio: Under Armour ad

You will remember the “Rule Yourself” ad from Under Armour Company that stared Michael Phelps. This ad went viral when it aired, and it was a lasting tribute to Michael Phelps who was one of the greatest Olympic Athletes of all time.

Most of this ad is dark, and it shows Michael Phelps swimming plus it also shows his grueling workouts during international competitions as well as outside the pool. The theme and tag line of the ad is “it is what you do in the dark that will put you in the light.” The ad was actually viewed by more than 10 million people on YouTube and received plenty of press.

These stats place this ad in the list of the most shared 2016 Olympic ads and it is in the number 2 position. It is also the fifth most-watched and shared ad of all time that doesn’t even mention the world Olympics even once. It was part of Armour’s “Rule Yourself” ad campaign and for the company, it was an undeniable history.

1992 Barcelona Olympic Games – McDonald’s Ad

The McDonald’s 1992 Olympics ad featured the US basketball team that was dubbed “The Dream team.” It was the first ad to feature NBA professional team players and it included Michael Jordan, Chris Mullin, and Patrick Ewing.

They were considered to be rock stars during their first-ever Olympics meet and they did not disappoint either, although their acting left a lot to be desired. Regardless McDonald’s did capitalize on the fame and hype of the group and this commercial was played plenty in the lead up to the Olympics and was a big hit.

2008 Beijing Olympic Games – Visa Ad: “Go World.”

This was one of the biggest ads during the 2008 Olympic Games and it celebrated the accomplishments of human beings and connectedness that transcended borders. From epic to personal, this ad celebrates the experiences of human beings that are designed to be contemporary and timeless.

Some of the athletes that featured in the ad included; Bob Beamon who had set the world record in Long Jump during the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games. He not only out jumped his competition but also shattered the world record. The ad says that Bob Beamon flew so far up, that the devices meant to measure the distance actually came up short.

Michael Phelps who was an Olympic Swimmer was also featured in the ad. He had qualified to swim in eight different events during the Beijing Olympics and won all eight medals in Athens in 2004. The great gymnast Kerri Strung is also a star of this ad. She won the gold medal during the 1996 Olympic Games, and despite suffering a sprained ankle, she still won.

The most incredible thing about her is that she needed to bounce off a springboard, sprint down a runway, fly into the air spinning and then stick a landing, and did all that on one foot. Nastia Liukin is the last athlete on the ad. She is the daughter of the legendary Olympic gold winner Valeri Liukin and a world Champion in Rhythmic Gymnastics. She appeared as a dancer in the ad, and the voice overstated that; just like plenty of people, Liukin followed after her parents and joined the family business which is a very hard task, but she won a gold medal.

Best Olympics Advertisements
Image Source: Wikipedia.

The Best Olympics Advertisements Conclusion

After millions of dollars spent, it is really the real athletes that make the adverts great. Those athletes and their actions are what make these commercials truly memorable. Spending millions upon millions on an ad means you are banking on millions of eyeballs seeing what you produced.

At the end of it all, the stars they choose to feature in it all can make or break what they have invested in. Surely, the Olympics are more than their advertisements, but with companies pulling out all the stops, they do make for some show-stoppers. Here is our list of some of the best Olympics adverts, if you’ve got other ones, we’d love to hear from you for our next list.


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