United has been a sponsor of the United States Olympic Committee for 35 years. But we're more than that. We're true partners, supporting Team USA by flying Olympians and Olympic hopefuls around the world to pursue their dreams. Day in, day out, year 'round. We are "the team behind the team" on the athletes' amazing journeys, and with the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio approaching, our goal was to let our audience know. We wanted to create content that would generate awareness of our sponsorship and resonate with our customers, employees and Olympic fans at large. By virtue of this, we established that United is not only the support team for Team USA, but also the team behind our everyday customers.
Overall, we felt that our enthusiastic support for Team USA would appeal to consumers and our employees, and ultimately increase brand favorability and preference for United.
According to Global Web Index, 85% of Olympic viewers said they use additional devices as they watch the games on TV. To tap into these second-screen viewing habits, we created a social media and content-focused, multi-platform campaign around our partnership with Team USA and Rio 2016. We added supplemental value to the viewing experience by providing an exclusive point of view on the Olympics. We highlighted six high-profile U.S. Olympians as influencers: Simone Biles, Ashton Eaton, Missy Franklin, Carli Lloyd, Kerri Walsh Jennings and Dartanyon Crockett. It was a diverse group in terms of athletics, age, gender and race that enabled us to reach the widest possible audience. And to further enhance our reach, we spread a mix of organic, paid and influencer content across many channels.
Approach by Channel
- Launched United's Team USA safety video on July 26th
- Heavily promoted United's Team USA televsion spot during the Opening Ceremony
- Created short videos to celebrate Team USA's send-off, performances and return to the U.S.
- Created content supporting "Pass the Baton," an effort encouraging fans to post pictures showing their support for Team USA. We incentivized posting by donating miles to support Olympic hopefuls' travel with each use of #UABatonDonation.
- Created a Conversational Ad Unit around #UnitedInRio to drive conversation about the Olympics
- Created custom content for each of our partner athletes to share with their fan bases
- Generated real-time reaction posts in response to the performances of our partner athletes
- Optimized tweets to allow for the greatest engagement with our core audience during the Olympics
- Created a live Instagram Story, along with an aviation-focused post covering Team USA's send-off to Rio
- Created a live Snapchat Story, covering Team USA's send-off to Rio
- Developed discovery ads for each partner athlete that provided viewers with United-exclusive content and a unique look into their lives
- Hosted longer-form Olympic content, including the Team USA Safety Video and TV spot
- Created a TrueView pre-roll video
- Offered a unique perspective on the Olympics through behind-the-scenes content about Team USA and our partner athletes
Paid Media Strategy
- Targeted our audience based upon groups of United Fans, Similar United Fans, Keyword & Interest, and Event Targeting
- Co-produced the Destination: Team USA documentary with Tribeca Studios and premiered it on a flight from EWR to ORD
- Released Olympic-themed amenity kits
Like Team USA, United's social campaign excelled during Rio 2016.
- 71MM total impressions from social/Hub marketing content
- Average engagement of 2%
- 4,796,563 video views
- 30K Olympics campaign messages
- Net sentiment score of 74%
- 3% rise in Buzz; .6% rise in Word of Mouth; 2.3% rise in Purchase Consideration
35.9MM reach; +7 Ad Recall; +15 Message Association; +5 Favorability; 64,402,593 total impressions; 16,654,041 video views
- #TeamUSA Facebook spot had 2.51% video completion rate, 7.6% view through rate
7.84MM reach; +5 Ad Recall; +5 Favorability; 5,473,515 total impressions; 24,002 video views
- United outperformed current Olympics performance benchmarks
- Engagement rate: 6.4%, +135% higher than benchmark
- View rate: 39.39%, +105% higher view rate vs. benchmark
- United was highlighted in Twitter's Passport for Travel + Leisure
- United was recognized as one of the Top 8 advertisers associated with the Olympics on Twitter
- Twitter noted that United was "driving massive scale for their video content, both via paid and earned media"
- 74% of Twitter users liked the United Olympics video (1.37x index compared to other Olympics advertisers)
- 37% of Twitter users were more likely to seek more information (1.09x)
- 42% of Twitter users said that the United Olympics video made them feel more positive about United as a brand (1.35x)
Instagram: 2.9% engagement rate, 2.4% engagement vs. YTD Channel average
YouTube: 49.4MM reach, 812,178 video views