Olympic Games go mobile

02 August 2012

LONDON: A majority of mobile internet users in the UK and US are engaging with the Olympic Games via this medium, but their interest in the event's official sponsors remains somewhat limited.

The Internet Advertising Bureau and Interactive Advertising Bureau, the trade bodies, partnered with Mojiva, the ad network, to survey 242 people utilising this medium in the two nations.

Overall, 76% of the British panel agreed they would use a mobile phone to follow their country's progress in the Games, coming in at 73% among the American sample.

However, just 12% of those polled in the UK anticipated looking up products or services made by firms sponsoring teams or athletes, rising to 20% in the US.

Elsewhere, 47% of British interviewees predicted they would watch on TV at the same as conducting activities like researching athletes, checking the medal table or discussing the latest happenings, on a mobile. Totals here came in at 48% for the US.

Another 32% of Americans expected to view replays or highlights on their phone, standing at 32% in the UK. A further 22% of contributors in both nations planned to stream live footage.

"The results overall paint a clear picture of two countries that are similar in terms of mobile adoption and usage, but with differences in terms of Olympic interests and priorities," said Alex Kozloff, the IAB UK's mobile manager.

The Olympic-related mobile ads most likely to appeal to UK consumers were those featuring a sport they enjoyed, on 36%, ahead of amusing or entertaining creative on 24%.

Scores in this latter area rose to 35% for the US, while communications based on their favourite sports logged 22%. British respondents posted 13% for ads from official sponsors on the same metric, declining to 8% in the US.

"It's difficult to escape the messages from official sponsors in London at the moment, and clearly the home crowd are reacting positively to the investment and support the sponsors are lending to the games," said Kozloff.

When talking about ads and apps in general, 32% of British participants clicked or interacted with these messages to get product information once a day or more, versus a relatively modest 25% for the US.

These figures stood at 18% and 19% respectively for engaging in this activity weekly or more. Ratings here reached 12% and 15% in turn for doing so monthly at minimum, meaning roughly 40% of people in both markets "never" clicked on ads.

Data sourced from Internet Advertising Bureau; additional content by Warc staff