Advertising at the Olympics was a huge success for BMW of North America and General Motors. NBC got record ratings during the games. Trudy Hardy, BMW of North America's marketing communications manager, said that traffic to BMW's American Web site rose by 26% over the course of the games from July 27 to Aug. 12, compared with the start of July.
Over half of the viewers were first-time visitors to the BMW site. Hardy said that the number of visitors who configured vehicles on BMW's site also went up by 22%. He said that those who spent time to outfit a vehicle online will most probably go to a dealership eventually and purchase a vehicle.
He said that there was a “great deal of initial return” on its overall advertising investment. For instance, the web traffic had increased significantly – one of the leading indicators. GM used the Olympics to aid in launching its initial advertising campaign for the new Cadillac ATS, which is set to start selling later this year.
GM revealed that its web traffic increased by 60%, and was higher by 88% for the ATS's page on the GM Web site. BMW served as the official automotive partner of the Olympics, offering over 3,200 vehicles to the games' organizers to carry athletes and others around London.
But BMW was more visible for the viewers in the U.S. as it was the only foreign automaker that advertised on the NBC platforms during the Olympics. This campaign is the biggest ever for BMW of North America. However, the company didn’t say how much its advertising budget is.