Here we are in 2016 kicking off the most-watched sporting event in the world as it returns on its four-year cycle. While no single day event can compete with two plus weeks of televised sports when it comes to overall viewership, many people don’t realize that the opening ceremony draws the largest single day audience of the games; more than 5X the audience of the Super Bowl and second only to World Cup Soccer for overall worldwide viewers.
Obviously this is the crown jewel of any broadcaster’s coverage and the time to show the world how connected you are, unveiling the newest technology to make the viewing seamless and integrated. In a real-time omni-screen world, this is one of the few times when everyone is quite literally watching the same thing at the same time. Time for the wow-factor!
Someone forgot to tell NBC that we’ve arrived in the future. As this article on Mashable highlights, the opening ceremony coverage was a #fail. Let’s count the mistakes. 1) NBC inexplicably tape delayed the opening ceremony, when the rest of the world was watching live. 2) NBC was live-tweeting it, so their social presence and the television presence were disjointed. 3) NBC promoted their streaming of the games if you downloaded the app, only to find out that the opening ceremony didn’t stream until after the TV coverage. 4) When they did start their TV coverage, the first 30 minutes was prepackaged interviews. 5) Commercial breaks were so prevalent they seemed to outweigh the actual coverage and pageantry of the ceremony.
Maybe you’re feeling better about your own social strategy. After all, if even NBC is struggling to harness social, you’re not alone. We talk a lot about the new marketing landscape here at TapInfluence. It’s consumer-led and always-on. More so, the consumer’s expectations have changed. We know this, but it’s hard to let go of entrenched practices and the social team might sit far away from the “digital” and “broadcast” teams, but the user doesn’t care about your silos. NBC is simply applying antiquated “what’s best for us” tactics, not what the audience expects which is a fluid experience that allows them to participate too.
For example, they could take a page from the Master’s playbook for the opening ceremony and deliver an experience that your audience is tuning in to see, not a bunch of filler material and hosts with banal banter. Mix up the hosts too — drop in a YouTube star, an Instagram phenom with the stable standbys and create compelling content for all ages.
The opening ceremony should serve as a wake up call to marketers everywhere. Consumers today expect native experiences that seamlessly blend into their lives. If brands can’t deliver it, they will stop tuning in to these extravaganzas. They see a corporate agenda immediately, just look at the reaction. Stop talking about what good marketing looks like and start actually doing it. There’s so much opportunity.