Ever since the 84 Summer Olympics in LA, I’ve been a big fan and dear friend of Olympic gold medalist Benita Fitzgerald Mosley. I was on the advisory board to help implement the high-tech traffic control system meant to head-off gridlock on the highways. It was a lot of work, but also very rewarding. Benita and I met at a pre-Olympic event in LA and immediately hit it off.
Benita and I stayed in touch over the years, and we are working together on the US Olympic team’s Project 30, where we want to win 30 medals in the 2012 Olympics in London. As part of that effort, a few of us went to London to review the city’s progress.
During our tour, we toured Piccadilly Circus, which is like Times Square with the big video walls all around. Benita called my attention to a group of people all lined up and taking pictures doing funny poses in front of the video wall.
Up on the wall was animated video of odd items, such as a bouncing soccer ball, a bar bell and even jets of steam. The ad was sponsored by McDonalds. People were positioning themselves with the video and having their pictures taken. I snapped Benita’s pic in front of the barbell, and she took mine with the soccer ball.
Advertising like this is a great brand building effort. Rather than promoting a sandwich amongst a sea of neon ads for other products, McDonalds stood out by creating something that people could interact with. Imagine how many photos of this have been passed around, everyone with the McDonalds logo in the corner.
Last week, Benita sent me this YouTube video of people getting their pictures taken in front of the ad. She included the note “In 2012, we will have to get photos in front of this with our 30 gold medals!”