GSK Consumer Ads Highlight Anti-Doping Olympic Role


GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is leveraging its Olympic rights to launch its first ever UK consumer-facing corporate brand campaign.


GSK, the official laboratory services provider for London 2012, is showcasing its anti-doping operations during the Olympics with a new multi-million pound campaign created by TBWA\London.


The initiative, which uses the strapline ‘The crowd is my only drug’, aims to highlight the pharmaceutical giant’s role in helping keeping the Olympic Games clean.


The spearhead TV spot features Team GB sprinter Marlon Devonish, while outdoor and press work also includes fellow UK athletes such as Phillips Idowu, Beth Tweddle, David Weir and Graham Edmunds.


‘As an athlete it’s so important to know that anyone who stands on the podium has got there through their own hard work and dedication, not by doping,’ said Devonish at the PR launch for the campaign.


The TV ads broke on 16 July, while the outdoor executions rolled out nationwide a week later. The flagship outdoor ad is a giant advertising hoarding on the side of GSK’s headquarters on the M4 run in from Heathrow at Brentford, London.


This huge billboard is wider than the wingspan of a Boeing 737 and GSK claims it’s the largest signboard featuring London 2012 advertising during the course of the games.


This giant ad is in the same space as GSK’s huge Olympic logo sign that was unveiled by Olympic cyclist Rebecca Romero last year and is calculated to have been seen bby 26 million passing cars since it was installed.


GSK is the first private company to have responsibility for overseeing drug testing at the Olympics. Its anti-doping operation is being run in partnership with King’s College, London, and has laboratories open 24 hours a day with a workforce of 1,000-plus and the task of testing up to 400 samples a day.


The company says it will test up to 50% of all competing athletes for up to 240 prohibited substances and every medallist will be tested.


‘Our advertising campaign aims to showcase the hard work, determination and natural ability that is central to each athlete’s performance,’ outlines GSK’s senior vice president of global communications Phil Thompson. ‘Our contribution to the London 2012 Games, through our partnership with LOCOG and King’s, is to help ensure that every medal winner can celebrate their athletic achievement in the knowledge they have won through a fair competition.’




Of course, while this is the pharmaa giant parent brand’s first ever consumer campaign in Britain, sports stars have fronted several of its branded p[products in other categories – such as its ongoing Luis Smith-fronted work promoting its Lucozade Sport brand.


This new public, above-the-line GSK initiative follows up on a previous more factual and explanatory campaign for its London 2012 work which rolled out online at the beginning of the year. Led by web films, this more functional initiative, detailed the process and facts surrounding its testing laboratory for the London Games.










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