With nationalism rising across the U.S. and Europe, geographic borders are gaining relevance. But with an Olympic-themed ad breaking today, official sponsor Samsung is urging people to break down borders and barriers in a campaign that runs counter to the political tide sweeping much of the globe.
The spot, called "The Anthem," makes a call for global unity by stringing together scenes of people singing various national anthems. They're singing not their own anthems, however, but those of other countries. The ad opens with a girl from Australia, for example, singing a line of the Botswana national anthem into a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge smartphone.
The commercial aims to give viewers "a glimpse of how Samsung innovative mobile products and technologies can help to break down geographic barriers and unite the world through deep, borderless connections," Samsung said in a statement.
The agency is Leo Burnett, in Chicago and Sydney.
"By singing one 'The Anthem,' fans and athletes across the globe can feel a shared sense of pride and unity and together celebrate collective progress, which is integral to the spirit of the Olympic Games," said Younghee Lee, executive VP-global marketing, mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics.
The ad features six global athletes, including American Alysia Montano, who competed in track and field at the 2012 Olympics; French Paralympic athlete Arnaud Assoumani; and Australian boxer Shelley Watts. The athletes will be featured in additional content online, in which they "tell their stories of defying barriers and overcoming obstacles," according to Samsung.
Samsung, which began its Olympic marketing tenure as a local sponsor of the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, is now a worldwide Olympics sponsor in the wireless communications equipment category. Its deal extends through the 2020 games in Tokyo.