Olympic sponsors shelling out $3.3 billion to participate in the Tokyo Games have had to contend with the uncertainty around COVID-19, lack of in-person spectators, lagging TV viewership and absence of some high-profile athletes. But one bright spot in an otherwise chaotic Summer Games has been ByteDance’s short-form video app TikTok, which has become the app du jour to reach Gen Zers.
Read: Everything you need to know about TikTok advertising.
Comcast, parent of NBCUniversal, which is broadcasting the Games, has leaned into the app to compile user-generated content to create an entire 30-second commercial set to run during the closing ceremony on Sunday. The brand is gathering the content through a hashtag challenge around #XfinityFanthem, and has onboarded a number of Olympians, professional gamers and creators to participate. The finished commercial will be part of its Xfinity Olympics campaign, which puts a spin on the Olympic Games’ theme song “Bugler’s Dream.”
With only a few days left until the Olympics wraps, videos that carry the hashtag have generated 6 billion views. Considering that viewership of the games across linear and streaming NBCU properties has been averaging roughly 16.8 million viewers, down about 36% from the 2016 Rio Games, it's easy to see why brands are seeing finding their own gold with TikTok.
“TikTok is a great platform for brand storytelling and given its relevance right now and our specific focus on music, it felt especially right for us in this moment,” says Carlo Cavallone, global co-chief creative officer and partner at 72andSunny, the agency behind Comcast's campaign.