Omega Joins Olympic Music Trend With ‘Start Me Up’


Omega, the official timekeeper for London 2012, continues to roll out its Games activation fronted by a global TV spot featuring the watch brand’s Olympic brand ambassadors.


The creative idea behind the commercial focuses on the pivotal few seconds before a sportsman begins to compete and the spot stars UK heptathlete Jessica Ennis, US sprinter Tyson Gay, swimmer Natalie Coughlin, pole vaulter Jenn Suhr, South African swimmer Chad Le Clos and other Olympic hopefuls.


The footage was shot at several locations across Florida in the USA, including the NFL’s Miami Dolphins’ stadium.


The ad’s soundtrack is a remix of the Rolling Stones’ iconic ‘Start Me Up’ and the spot is running in parallel with social media activity led by Twitter work @omegawatches and using the hashtag #startmeup.


‘Start Me Up’ was remixed for the commercial by producer Don Was and while there is no official comment on the cost to Omega for the song’s rights industry experts suggest it is in the region of $500,000.


Indeed, Omega President Stephen Urquhart has been quoted as saying that Omega has spent more on filming and airing this commercial (which is also running online) than any other it has ever made.


By linking up with the high profile rock legends Omega links to the key role of the brand at the Olympics (starting the stopwatch as the official time-keeper) and making a link between the British band and the British Games.


‘Just as the Beatles represent the Liverpool scene, the Rolling Stones represent the London scene of the 60s, 70s and beyond,” says Omega President Stephen Urquhart. “We’re really tapping into London and its musical heritage. The shooting schedule and locations for the spot were quite ambitious. But the result is powerful and emotional.’


‘The Rolling Stones are the definitive London band and we are thrilled with this mix that breathes new life into a great song that the world has loved for 30 years.’




Omega is just one Olympic sponsor placing music at the heart of its leverage work. Coca-Cola (through Mark Ronson ) and Adidas (through Wretch 32) are just two of the official sponsors who are blending music and sport into a single ‘entertainment’ marcoms package.


But perhaps a key difference in Omega’s tactics is that by using The Rolling Stones it’s tactic seems to be to use a nostalgic track to connect with well-heeled Baby Boomers.


While the focus of Coke and Adidas his more about using contemporary, cutting edge musicians to connect with urban teens.


This perhaps reflects the high product price of premium brand Omega’s watches, compared to the relatively every day, low-price impulse purchase of Coca-Cola.


A different version of the song was used by Microsoft in a splashy commercial for its 1995 launch of Windows.


This is the 25th year that Omega has been the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games and the brand is one of a select few (along with Coca-Cola) to have such a long term relationship with the International Olympic Committee.


Other elements of Omega’s rights activation includes the long standing Trafalgar Square Olympic digital clock that has been counting down to the start of the Games. This installation didn’t quite go without a hitch, as it stopped working last year with 499 days to go, before being restarted by the Omega team.





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