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An Olympic Games like no other

Article by
Joanna Bogdan

Whilst we can still feel the emotions of the Euro’s 2020/21, there is yet another important sport event starting this week, the Tokyo Summer Olympics & Paralympics, which has been center of attention across the whole world for the past year. Not only because it is such an important event, but because for the first time ever, the Olympic Games was postponed and rescheduled. So many of us were left wondering if they will finally happen this year, and the good news is that yes – however – still under some conditions.

 Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and international travel restrictions, one of the most important changes is that the privilege to watch the Olympics live will only belong to those lucky international journalists reporting on the games. This is also a significant change for many of our clients and their OOH campaigns, whose plan was to target international audiences arriving in to Japan to watch this famous event, but who are now re-targeting their media to a local Japanese audience. 

 Transportation media located near or on the way to the Olympic venues such as National Olympic Stadium, Yoyogi National Gymnasium or Ariake Arena are selling well. As Japan remains an important out of home market for evolve, we are in regular contact with our local partners who told us that advertising might be slightly different than what was initially expected, but brands are still wanting to be seen in Tokyo during the Olympic period to show their support for the event and the competitors, which is adding to the great anticipation for this event in the country. 

 As spectators are being urged by the Japanese government to watch athletes compete from home on TV screens, there is still a demand for the physical presence that OOH brings within Tokyo. The famous Shibuya crossing, the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing and one of the most iconic settings in Japan, has sold for the Olympic period, just showing you that the city will still be alive with the spirit of the event, even if international audiences cannot attend in person.

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OOH is perfectly placed to work alongside online and TV media, something that we already knew, but I am particularly interested to see how the medium performs for brands during one of the most unusual circumstances for any Olympic games event that has ever happened in history. From major global sponsors to the small and local, the Olympics attracts some of the best creative executions from brands and I am sure the event will be a spectacle of creativity as well as sporting excellence across the board.