Visa: Yusra Mardini Swims On

Olympic swimmer Yusra Mardini will leave Rio without a medal. She didn’t qualify for the semifinals or finals. But in the big picture, it doesn’t really matter. Yusra is a refugee from Syria, and currently living in Germany. She’s a member of the first Refugee Olympic Team. Last year, Yusra helped swim her boat to safety, pulling 17 refugees behind her. Visa pays a stirring tribute to her in this spot.

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Nike Shows Transgender Olympian Chris Mosier Just Doing His Thing

With the Olympics in full swing, it’s about time for me to write about some Olympic commercials, eh? This Nike ad starring transgender duathlete Chris Mosier debuted yesterday and is part of the “Unlimited” campaign. Chris is the first transgender athlete to make a U.S. Olympic team. I really like the conversation between Chris and the narrator, and that the spot happens in a casual way, focusing on his competition and without any dramatic, over-the-top music.

 

I Don’t Know How I Feel About United Airlines, But Rhapsody In Blue Is Awesome

Rhapsody in Blue is one of my favorite pieces of music ever created. United Airlines has used it in their advertisements since the mid-1980s. And here’s a few new Olympics-themed spots from United Airlines.

Old Spice: I Will Live Forever

It’s finally time for the London Olympics. As Adweek notes, most Olympic commercials tend to be serious, like “Best Job”, a great ad which I never wrote about for some reason. But serious isn’t in Old Spice’s brand identity. I feel like it’s harder to do great work that’s humorous, but Old Spice really excels in this aspect. Those are some manly premium table crackers!

Visa: One Hundredth Of A Second Made The Difference For Michael Phelps

Are you excited for the Olympics? Maybe? I like the Olympics, though I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fanatic. But commercials like this one for Visa make it hard not to get at least a little pumped. One hundredth of a second…that was the difference. And who doesn’t love Morgan Freeman?

Visa: Morgan Freeman, Lopez Lomong, And The Olympics

Morgan Freeman is awesome. If you haven’t seen Through the Wormhole, it is highly, highly recommended. The Olympics are the world’s games. So it seems appropriate that a transcendent person would be paired with a transcendent event. And that’s the case with these Visa/Olympics commercials, many narrated by Morgan Freeman. He was also the voice of ads from the 2008 games, including this inspiring spot featuring the story of Derek Redmond and his father (which would also be a great one for Father’s Day). All of the Visa commercials can be found here, but I’ve included a few of the best in this post. The first is centered on runner Lopez Lomong, who faced challenges that most of us can’t even imagine. The second has pole vaulter Yelena Isinbaeva, who had to change plans based on her physicality. The third seems to be a flagship ad for this campaign. Expect to see these (and more spots) with increasing frequency as the London Olympics approach. Love it.

6/18 update: This one was just released today. Nadia Comaneci’s perfect 10.

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