Silver: Best Sports Sponsorship or Tie-In 2015

  • Campaign: Rise: The Ad Inspired by a Tweet
  • Brand: Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • Agency: Liberty Mutual Insurance

Just about every Olympic athlete has a comeback story of sorts in his or her path to the games. So do many customers of Liberty Mutual Insurance, which prides itself on helping clients come back from accidents, fires, and natural disasters. So the company adopted “Rise” as the theme of its promotional partnership with Team USA during the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

To tie in with its brand promise, “We believe with every setback, there’s a chance to come back,” Liberty Mutual produced a series of videos profiling the comeback stories of 10 current and former U.S. Olympic stars. In the weeks leading up to the Olympics it posted on its dedicated website and social media three new videos a week focused on one individual; these were accompanied by a takeover of the Liberty Mutual Facebook cover photo and its Twitter and YouTube skins. The company also included old photos of the week’s featured athlete for #ThrowbackThursdays on Facebook and Twitter, posted a Spotify playlist of the athletes’ favorite training songs, and hosted five Google+ Hangouts during which the athletes answered fans’ questions.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the campaign, however, was an element that nobody could have planned for—nor would have wanted to. The day before the opening ceremony of the Sochi games, mogul skier Heidi Kloser was injured in a crash during training, leaving her unable to participate in the competition. A few days later, longtime adman Alex Bogusky tweeted Liberty Mutual suggesting that Kloser be featured in one of the Rise videos. Less than a week later, Liberty Mutual and agency Havas Worldwide managed to create a 30-second TV spot featuring Kloser and her family that aired during the Olympics coverage along with additional video content.

The immediacy and timeliness of the Kloser videos contributed to the 6 million impressions from more than 20 media placements, including an exclusive with USA Today. The campaign overall garnered 11.5 million video views and nearly 800 million impressions across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.