Takeover of Olympic Proportions

Winning at the Olympics - without a sponsorhip!


CASE STUDY: CANON - "We Stole the Show"


The Winter Olympics, a global spectacle, attracts not only the world's top athletes, but also the crème de la crème of sports photographers. However, with Panasonic as the official camera sponsor, Canon faced a significant challenge. The Olympic organizers had a tight grip on advertising, ensuring non-sponsors like Canon had no visibility.


How could Canon gain exposure at the Winter Olympics without breaching the strict advertising guidelines set by the Olympic organizers?


Every challenge presents an opportunity. While the Olympic organizers had shut down most avenues for advertising, our team identified a loophole. The Olympics advertising restrictions allowed company branding on vehicles registered under a commercial transportation service.

The Creative Solution

We didn't just find a loophole, we drove through it. Canon established a transportation company, ostensibly to ferry its 400 photographers covering the games. We strategically mapped shuttle routes along the busiest corridors of the games. But the pièce de résistance was our fleet of 40 BMW Minis, each emblazoned with bold Canon branding, ensuring maximum visibility.


  1. Attention Grabber: The Canon car convoys were more than just a transportation service, they became a spectacle in their own right. The buzz was undeniable.
  2. Making Organisers Care: By Day 2, the impact was so profound that the Olympic organizers took notice, issuing a cease and desist order to Canon.
  3. Legal Triumph: Anticipating potential pushback, we had a legal brief ready. Canon successfully defended its right, ensuring the branded convoys continued their runs throughout the games.
  4. Sales Surge: The campaign wasn't just about brand visibility, it translated to tangible results. Canon DSLR sales soared, exceeding forecasts by 15%.
  5. Category Leadership: The Olympic promotion wasn't just a one-off success. It marked a pivotal moment for Canon, allowing them to overtake and maintain category leadership from Nikon.


In a world where traditional advertising avenues were blocked, we found an innovative way to not just gain visibility but to truly steal the show. It's a testament to the power of creative thinking, proving that with the right strategy, even the most formidable challenges can be transformed into golden opportunities.

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