The start of a new year for any business is a time of reflection. But it is also a time to look forward to the exciting year ahead. Years of planning, discussion and debate have now passed and we have finally entered the Olympic year.
Olympics fever is already dominating the news. Excitement is growing for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and it will truly ignite when the torch relay welcomes the greatest event in the world to our country.
We’ve seen the impact these momentous events can have on the national mood and, in turn, on economic performance. The Royal Wedding proved a powerful stimulant for short-term renewal and growth in the summer of 2011. This year, we have the opportunity to take that same feeling of celebration and optimism and play it out over a much longer period.
The Olympic opportunity is not just for the two weeks during which the Games run - it starts now and runs right through the year. During my time in Asia, I knew China was set for the decade because of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai and the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou. We must be ready to fully embrace the opportunity before us. And nowhere is this truer than for the grocery industry.
We believe that those who best capture the spirit of 2012 and the mood of the country, through their brands and in their stores, will reap the biggest rewards. Of a £750m opportunity for the UK, up to £250m of this is in grocery, but we have to do it properly. Consumers are savvy and recognise ambush. They want the real deal and they also want it brought to life in a credible way.
Olympic activations need to make sense for the consumer, for the brand, and for the category as a whole. Tagging just isn’t enough. We’ve had to be selective and we’ve made choices not to activate where our brands don’t have a credible fit with the Olympics theme. Our campaigns must be meaningful, natural and credible and we’ve worked to guarantee this across our range of brand campaigns for 2012.
We have some of the UK’s leading athletes behind us too. Sir Chris Hoy, Jessica Ennis, Paula Radcliffe and Mark Cavendish will be the faces of 2012 and we’re delighted to have them associated with our brands. People want to follow their progress and feel part of their success, and we’re delivering that.
Beyond these individual brand campaigns, we’re also dialling up our P&G multi-brand campaigns across the country. Bringing the Olympic experience to our supermarkets will be crucial and we’re committed to bringing the best of what is on offer to all our retailers. From national programmes to local propositions, even designated field marketing teams for the 300 or so stores that form part of the torch relay route or venue locations. We’re investing across the board to make both our P&G ‘Proud sponsor of Mums’ and our individual brand campaigns as big as they can be this year.
We want to make it the best Olympic Games for London, for the UK and for our industry, to use this event to restore optimism and reinvigorate growth. It’s our time to win.