Posts Taged sochi-olympics

Sochi Olympics End with Humor


As we detailed on the blog previously, the Sochi Olympic Games seemed to have been fraught with logistical problems from the start, including questionable accommodations and discolored tap water, earning the Twitter hashtags, #sochiproblems or #sochifails. These mishaps, along with other controversies, did not generate the most positive PR for this year’s Olympic organizers.

However, if you watched the Closing Ceremony last night, you saw that it included a joke that allowed the event to poke fun at one of its mistakes with a little self-depreciating humor.

In the Opening Ceremony two weeks ago there was a malfunction in which one of the five rings did did not open in the large light display of the Olympic Games symbol – an example of #sochifails in massive glowing lights. The mistake seemed to add to the sense that not all was up to par at this year’s Olympics.


Last night’s Closing Ceremony included an ironic twist in which during the opening dance routine, several hundred dancers formed the Olympic rings, with the top right ring remaining unopened for a moment in humorous reference to the previous malfunction. The crowd cheered as the ring of dancers actually did open and tweets and gifs of the display went viral with many commenting “Good One, Russia”.


By M. Smelter (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Lighter Side of the Olympics (At Last)


Finally, there’s been some positive non-sports news out of Sochi. After a week of less than ideal PR —  disturbing images of pink eye (read our earlier blog) and stories of Sochi being a bit less-than-ready for visitors – I was ready for some light-hearted, non-sports coverage. Molson Canadian announced earlier this week via twitter that they’d placed free beer coolers in Canada’s Olympic House. The coolers, however, won’t open unless a Canadian passport is inserted.

Quirky yet effective: Molson Canadian branding goes to Sochi

Beer advertisers are known for their big budget, over-the-top PR and ad campaigns, and that’s no surprise really, since study after study has shown that advertising increases the demand for beer. So while this campaign is far from groundbreaking (and it’s worth noting that this is not the first time the fridge has been deployed – including a trek across Indonesia by two men who wanted a friend to have beer to drink while watching the Olympics), there are  a few things I think make this a quirky yet effective campaign for the Olympics.

  1. The appeal to national pride is a great tie-in with the Olympics and its emphasis on country-specific success. If you are Canadian, you are rewarded with a beer.
  2. It’s also further reinforcement of the Molson Canadian branding:  the beer with “true Canadian” taste.
  3. Free beer. It’s hard to find fault with that.


The resultant media coverage? Well worth the cost of the beers given out to the Canadians in Sochi.

Watch the beer cooler’s voyage through Indonesia to ensure that one Canadian hockey fan has refreshments while watching the Olympics.

Sochi pink eye PR nightmare

sochi pink eye

Despite the numerous reports about the less-than-fabulous conditions in Sochi during these Olympic games —  dirty water, disgusting hotel rooms and bathroom stalls that are too close for comfort, not to mention the numerous human and animal rights violations – none hits home quite as viscerally has Bob Costas’ Sochi pink eye. Reportedly caused by unsanitary conditions in Sochi, Costas’ infection quickly spread to a hot, pink mess in both eyes this week, as he tried to maintain his correspondent duties in Harry Potter-esque glasses and a painful-looking squint.

To be fair, I was regularly impacted by pink eye in college. A combination of dorm living and poor contact lens care left me with my fair share of visits to the university clinic for some trusty antibacterial eye drops (Side note: my grandfather, who is a retired optometrist, gave me a great over-the-counter remedy for pink eye: Put a healthy dose of an antibacterial ointment, like Neosporin, in your eye(s) before bed. Gross, but really is it more gross than pink eye? It works wonders, Bob.) That said, I NEVER looked as bad as poor Bob did during his broadcast on Feb. 10. Watching him literally made me cringe and immediately want to wash my hands.

Thankfully for us all, Bob threw in the towel until the infection clears up. Matt Lauer will be filling in while Bob hits the antibiotics and, hopefully, stays quarantined. The last thing the US Olympic Team needs is a massive outbreak of Sochi pink eye, especially among athletes. Somehow I don’t see American figure skater Gracie looking quite so Gold-en with a horrendous pink eye infection, and poor Bob would never live it down.

bob costas sochi pink eye

Ew, Bob Costas. Ew.