I LOVE the Olympics. My family will attest to this. My husband calls me the Superfan. I wake up without an alarm at 4:30 AM before the evening events start to unfold in Sochi, and start watching on the PVR those events that I missed while I slept. I’m glued to my CBC Sochi 2014 app so I can track multiple events as they occur. Yesterday, during the gold medal women’s hockey, I had the iPad streaming the game next to my laptop on my desk, so I could (in theory) work while I watched. This worked well up until about the last three minutes in regulation time, but then you likely already know how that glorious story unfolds…

I prefer the Winter Games over the Summer Games. I find them more intimate, and somehow slightly less commercial. And let’s face it, we Canadians are better at the Winter Games. Our national weather (Vancouver notwithstanding) drives that. I buy the mitts. The sweater. The jacket. I had the Olympic bug before Vancouver hosted in 2010, and things snowballed at a Tina Maze/Dominique Gisin downhill pace from there, as I witnessed my humble nation overcome with a nationalistic pride we normally enjoy slagging our neighbours to the south for exhibiting. Forget Lotto 649. I want the Visa prize Morgan Freedman promises — tickets to the Olympic Winter Games FOR LIFE. Be still my heart!

Dufour-Lapointe SistersSomething I also love about the Olympics is the inspirational marketing that happens before, during and after the Games. I’m a bit of a jock (albeit an aging one), and I find myself actually thinking about Olympic marketing as I work out. I’m not kidding. When I run, I am imagining those Olympic athletes running up frozen stairs in an Adidas commercial, and I run faster. When I’m skiing, I’m marvelling at those Dufour-Lapointe sisters, and what a sponsor’s dream they will very shortly become. Last night, my woman’s volleyball team went undefeated, and I credit our momentum entirely to our women’s hockey victory. It was ALL my teammates could talk about. Poulin would never miss a serve, and so I wouldn’t either. The Proctor and Gamble Proud Sponsor of Mom campaign still makes me want to cry. EVERY TIME. I’ve raised two kids, and one of them was a high-performance athlete, so I could relate (in non-Olympic proportions, mind you) to the sacrifices made and the pride felt by our athletes’ moms. P&G tapped into my emotions with laser precision. Kudos.

I have to admire those marketers that can inspire us, push us harder, make us dream, call our souls and raise our spirits, even if it is just to make us buy their shoes, toilet paper, credit cards and tool sets. They tap into a humanity we crave, and a drive we all harbour… faster, higher, stronger, and with glowing hearts.

Go Canada Go.


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