The #Sochi2014 Winter Olympics and Google

Today marks the launch of the much debated Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Apart from being winter sports, the Olympics are also a massive event in media and advertising. This time human rights and homophobic legislation have been the major topics discussed in the media, nearly overshadowing the Olympics as a sports event.

One company, Google, has come out of the closet during this debate. They have managed to gain huge attention and support in taking an active stand in the debate. Changing their doodle into the colors of the gay rights movement’s flag as well as adding a quote from the Olympic Charter about sports and equality:

Throughout the morning, the doodle has been shared countless times on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on a traditional Danish media and on Reddit, a social news and entertainment website. Basically, it’s everywhere.

Google manages to support an honorable cause, perform newsjacking and prove that they are not afraid to take a stance, supporting their founding slogan “don’t be evil”. Another more entertaining example gone viral today, is the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion’s commercial which claims that The Winter Olympics ‘Have always been a bit gay’, and encourages us to keep it that way.

From a communication perspective, all this shows that companies can gain a lot of PR and attention and sharpen their brand ideals by having an eye for momentum and taking an active position in a difficult and sensitive matter.

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