The Olympics in advertising and packaging, creating history.

An advertisement isn’t just a thing of the moment, it immortalizes a brand and a time period. During the Olympics, brands feature the Olympics, their athletes, Olympic events, or just the logo as another way to grab attention and, well, capitalize on a popular event.

Brands, ads and packaging tell stories about history. For example, these days so many commercials have the husband doing something stupid and the wife challenging him or correcting him. That’s a very different portrayal of marriage than 50 years ago! Another way ads reveal changing times is that print ads don’t have too many words on them these days – they used to have paragraphs of copy! But people are constantly on the go, and don’t want to read novels about a product anymore.

Harrods uses Olympic events to add a new level of interest to fashion.

And when so many brands collectively feature something like the Olympics, it puts them in a new section of history. They’re not only telling a story about users of their specific product, but also about the widespread interest of the Olympics, which I think is so interesting!

P&G finds emotion in their brand through the eyes of Olympian mothers.


In London, my sister, Kim, and I went to the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. (That place is so cool!) It went through decades of advertising from the Victorian Age to today. Ads and packaging would feature the Royal couple of the time. I thought it was a relatively new thing to plaster famous faces on products! But no, they’ve been doing it since at least Queen Victoria in the late 1800s!

Marmite featuring the Queen’s Jubilee.


To see a collection of packaging, from body soap to chocolates, kids toys to cereal boxes with the King and Queen on them was so cool. It’s a great insight into advertising tactics, as well as what was popular in the day.

Adidas, an official sponsor of the UK, and the official sportswear of UK Olympic athletes, does a great job adding emotion to their brand in this Olympian Adidas ad. It says intensity, hard work, competition and success.

I can’t wait until the collection of Olympic ads makes it’s way into museums like the Museum of Brand, Packaging and Advertising!


4 thoughts on “The Olympics in advertising and packaging, creating history.

  1. This is a really cool post! Especially since I’m seeing the Olympics branding on EVERYTHING now. I love it though – exciting!

    I’m so sad to say I’ve never even heard of that museum 😦 I’ll have to check it out!

    • Also, this reminded me of a Battleship game I have that’s from the 60s or 70s. The father and son are playing the game, and in the background you see the mother and daughter washing dishes together, laughing and smiling as they look at the boys having fun. It’s unbelievable!!

      • I loved the Museum! I studied advertising and design in college, so I loved seeing all the ‘vintage’ design and old advertisements. Sadly, they didn’t allow photographs, or my camera would have been snapping away at everything! It’s in Notting Hill, or nearby.

        What a cool time for you to be living in London! You’re in the center of history right now. Someday the packaging and ads you see right now will be in this museum and people like me will stare goggly-eyed at it, but you lived in it!

      • It is cool! I love the alien mascots, although a lot of people think they’re stupid. They’re fun! I already have 2012 cookie tins and things like that haha.

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