Five Best Sports Ads of 2012

Slide1Given it was an Olympic year, it was a good chance for brands to leverage the games to stand out.  But my favorite ad was not about what an athlete was doing on the court but what he was going through off the court.  The injury to Derrick Rose was a dramatic turn in the sports world and the story telling that Adidas did around the injury was brilliant.

#1 Derrick Rose Adidas

This is my favorite sports-related TV ad, because of the drama that is created through the spot–whether it’s the freeze once he gets injured or the rhythm created from him working out.


Adidas did a great job taking the idea on-line, and turning the story of Derrick Rose’s return into a series of 3-minute videos that show the behind-the-scenes look at his return effort.  It’s supported on twitter with #thereturn where fans continue to comment as we anticipate his return shortly.

#2 Nike “Find Your Greatness” at the Olympics

Even though, they were not a sponsor of the Olympics, Nike managed to steal the spotlight and stand out with this TV ad.  While everyone else was talking about the super stars of the games, Nike reached down their roots of the average athlete.   I love the kid on the diving board at the end of the spot.

#3 P&G Moms Campaign

I thought P&G did a very nice job at the Olympics, the one sponsor that seemed to jump out.  (Nike was never a sponsor)  There were two takes that I liked, the first was “Thank You Moms” which showed everything that moms did for their athletes.   I’m sure quite a few moms were shedding a few tears over this one.

The second P&G ad spoke to the idea that “they’ll always be kids” and it showed the athletes depicted as little children.

#4 Ray Lewis Visa

Ray Lewis is one of the toughest football players, and I love how they’ve warmed him up by having the little kid ask cute questions.

#5 National Lottery in the UK

Very warm and telling spot about sending your daughter to the Olympics.  It’s a nice drama and beautifully shot TV ad.

What’s the best Sports ad you’ve seen this year?

If you are in the mood to see other great advertising, here’s a few other stories:


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grAbout Graham Robertson: I’m a marketer at heart, who loves everything about brands.  My background includes 20 years of CPG marketing at companies such as Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer Consumer, General Mills and Coke. The reason why I started Beloved Brands Inc. is to help brands realize their full potential value by generating more love for the brand.   I only do two things:  1) Make Brands Better or 2) Make Brand Leaders Better.  I have a reputation as someone who can find growth where others can’t, whether that’s on a turnaround, re-positioning, new launch or a sustaining high growth.  And I love to make Brand Leaders better by sharing my knowledge. My promise to you is that I will get your brand and your team in a better position for future growth. To read more about Beloved Brands Inc., visit   or visit my Slideshare site at where you can find numerous presentations on How to be a Great Brand Leader.  Feel free to add me on Linked In at  or on follow me on Twitter at @GrayRobertson1

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