OMG HK Snapshot of the Paris Olympics: Consumer Behaviors Brands Should Watch For

OMG Hong Kong offers insight into how brands can engage with consumers during the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

People in Hong Kong are skeptical regarding the Paris Olympics’ ability to stimulate the local economy according to social listening insights between January to June 2024 from Omnicom Media Group Hong Kong (OMG HK).

The agency said the time difference is an issue, with several netizens questioning if malls and F&B establishments will remain open in the early morning amidst the ongoing Olympic events in Paris.

OMG HK additionally found that there is chatter about how the World Cup generates more viewership and foot traffic to bars compared to the Olympics. Some also said buying rights to the English Premier League would bring more economic benefits given its popularity.


 

Meanwhile, netizens remain mixed on whether the time difference will reduce interest in the Olympics. Some compared the Tokyo Olympics with Paris, explaining that it was easier to tune in to Tokyo’s sporting events due to a smaller time difference. Nonetheless, other netizens pointed out the benefits of the time difference, said OMG HK, adding that instead of missing out on the action while at work, Hongkongers can now catch the sporting events during dinner while they are ongoing in the afternoon in Paris.

“Given that some games may start late at night, it is expected that consumers are less likely to stay out late at restaurants or with large groups of friends,” said OMG HK’s Insights Director, Nicole Cheng.

“Therefore, there is an impression that the Paris Olympics would hardly drive local businesses, especially those in the F&B industry.”

However, Cheng added that Hongkongers watching sporting events late at night at home might drive demand for supper, snacks/drinks, and even soups, thereby offering more business opportunities to food delivery services, convenience stores, and supermarkets.


 

“We should also not forget the business opportunities during breakfast. Those having to get up early for work after staying up to watch the games may need coffee or a big breakfast to energize themselves. F&B establishments or retailers could think about ways to help consumers recharge with various types of food and drinks.”

While the time difference might impact viewership, Cheng said the availability of highlights or catch-up programs on different broadcast platforms can help maintain Hongkongers’ viewing interest.

With the 2024 Paris Olympics around the corner, OMG Hong Kong’s consumer snapshot on the international sporting event aims to shed light on the key behaviors of Hongkongers and share ways brands can benefit from the Olympics. It comprises findings gathered from OMG Hong Kong’s Video Content Viewing Landscape Q1 2024 report, which surveyed 815 respondents and social listening insights captured from H1 2024.

Four consumer behaviors brands should watch

OMG HK prepared the following summary:

Viewing interest for Paris Olympics is nearly on par between female and male audiences

There is a preconceived notion that sports audiences are mainly male-dominated. However, OMG Hong Kong’s Video Content Viewing Landscape Q1 2024 report found that viewing interest in the upcoming games are nearly on par between female (62%) and male audiences (60%).

The high interest among female audiences can be attributed to the availability of different sporting events at the games. That said, the gender audience ratio might still differ for specific sports. Data from free TV channels in Hong Kong show that the audience gender ratio is more balanced for sporting events involving volleyball and tennis, while football matches are mainly skewed towards a male audience.

While interest might not directly translate to actual viewership, Cheng explained that brands should not underestimate females’ interest in watching the Olympics or any other sporting programmes.

“Brands advertising female-related products and services could consider Olympics or sports programming in their media planning,” said Cheng.

Netizens view purchase of Olympics broadcasting rights as good use of public funds

Despite some skepticism in viewing interest, there are netizens who view the purchase of Olympics broadcasting rights as an appropriate use of public funds. A few also said this is a more appealing option than having fireworks for citizens or spending money on unnecessary decorations.

TVB, ViuTV, and YouTube are the preferred platforms for Olympics live broadcast

TVB, ViuTV, and YouTube are the top three preferred platforms for Hong Kongers interested in the 2024 Paris Olympics to watch the live broadcast of the upcoming games. Those aged 45-59 surveyed by OMG HK prefer watching it on TVB, while 35-44 prefer ViuTV. Meanwhile, individuals aged 18-34 lean towards YouTube.

Overall, the viewing preference aligns with the general viewing habits of Hongkongers – mature audiences prefer TVB while middle-aged and the younger generation prefer ViuTV and YouTube, respectively.

On the other hand, HOY TV was ranked fourth despite getting praised for their Olympics coverage during the Tokyo Games. In 2021, HOY TV received the most positive comments from netizens among the three free TV channels, with netizens saying the hosts were professional, well-prepared, and informative. However, the impact of this positive buzz remains to be seen when it comes to increasing consumers’ preference in watching HOY TV for Olympics coverage.

Take a more holistic approach when leveraging sports in your brand building

It is common for brands to appoint athletes as ambassadors to uplift the brand’s image and build consumer recall. Some brands that have done so include Cathay Pacific with swimmer Siobhan Haughey and lululemon with rugby player Cado Lee, swimmer Camille Cheng, fencer Ryan Choi, and tennis player Eudice Chong.

However, it is important to clearly showcase how the athlete represents the brand’s values and what both parties have in common as well as think about what story your brand wishes to tell through the athlete.

“With the Olympics around the corner and the National Games in 2025, Hongkongers’ interest in sports are expected to remain high. Should a brand leverage on sports or athletes to create brand awareness, a more holistic approach is needed beyond mere event sponsorship or athletes being spokespeople,” said Cheng.

 

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