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Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Toyota Pulls Out All Olympic-Themed Ads Ahead Of The Games


Despite being a worldwide Olympic partner, Toyota is pulling out all Olympic-themed advertisements on Japanese television in the lead up to the Game’s official opening this Friday.

A report from the Associated Press says this decision underlines how polarizing the Games have become in Japan as COVID-19 infections continue to rise over there.

Chief Executive Akio Toyoda (pictured), will be skipping the opening ceremony. That’s despite about 200 athletes taking part in the Olympics and Paralympics who are affiliated with Toyota.

Toyota though will continue to support its athletes.

Being a corporate sponsor for the Olympics is usually all about using the games as a platform to enhance the brand. But being linked with a pandemic-era Games may be viewed by some as a potential marketing problem.

Toyota signed on as a worldwide Olympic sponsor in 2015, in an 8-year deal reportedly worth nearly US$1 billion. They are the first car company to join the IOC’s top-tier marketing program.

The sponsorship, which started globally in 2017, runs through the 2024 Olympics, covering three consecutive Olympics in Asia, including the Tokyo Games.

The Tokyo Olympics, already delayed by a year, are going ahead despite the Japanese capital being under a state of emergency.

Toyota is one of the most trusted brands in Japan, and public opinion surveys against the holding of the delayed Tokyo 2020 games might have swayed them to pull their ads off the air.

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