Olympics bring gold for Web advertisers

Google statistics show online advertisers and companies benefiting from London Olympics 2012 with increased brand awareness, customer engagement and sales.

Google on Wednesday released statistics and case studies on how online advertisers cashed in on the three-week long Summer Olympics held in London this year.

The London Olympics 2012, which concluded on Aug. 12, was dubbed the "first social Olympics" as it was the first time social media tools played an integral role in connecting all stakeholders. And Richard Keelty, product marketing manager at Google U.K., pointed out in a blog post today the "one clear winner" of this year's Games was digital media in how it helped businesses better engage consumers and generate sales.

Keelty wrote that higher traffic and increased investment in the Web helped online publishers in a big way. In the United States for example, across two million sites in its Google Display Network and the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, ads shown on sports-related Web sites increased by 19 percent as users' interest in all things sports were piqued by the Olympics.

Revenues for these sites also increased by 14 percent when compared to the two previous weeks before the Olympics started, he pointed out.

Google's ad serving platform for publishers "broke a new record" too, with one major publisher serving more than 400 million ad impressions in a day across its Web site and mobile content which drove higher revenues and more free content, he added. 

In terms of digital marketing campaigns launched during this period, Google highlighted Visa's global "Go World" campaign, which helped improve brand engagement with users.

The campaign invited fans to show their support for Team Visa athletes in the form of cheers across social media, and it generated more than 59 million cheers while Visa's YouTube channel accounted for more than 47 million views of the company's commercials and athlete training videos globally, the executive stated.

Insurance provider Zurich also embarked on its "Share your sports moments" campaign on Google and YouTube, which featured members of the German Olympic team. Its efforts resulted in a "significant uplift" in the number of leads who then signed insurance contracts, Keelty said.