Every night over the last couple of weeks, my family and I watched the 2012 London Olympics. Although NBC did an absolutely terrible job covering the games as a whole, we enjoyed the action and the inspiring athletes.
I have always loved the Olympics. It's amazing how the Olympics make sports that are meaningless to the masses, so incredibly meaningful for 2 weeks every four years.
What I liked most about the London Olympics was how they inspired my kids. My daughter is not a gymnast, but she was inspired to do hand stands and cartwheels after watching the USA women's gymnastic team and she could not wait for the soccer season to start after watching Hope Solo make some amazing saves. My son is not a volleyball player, but the Olympics has him thinking about playing volleyball.
The Olympics inspire kids. NBC featured a story about Fabiana Murer, a Brazilian athlete. She wanted to be a gymnast, but she grew too tall, so after watching the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, she got into pole vaulting. NBC also featured stories of young Kenyans who run in the footsteps of their national Olympic heros. There were countless references of past Olympic athletes inspiring this generation of athletes.
AT&T did a great series of ads that tapped into this insight. The ads, created by BBDO NY, the world's most awarded agency in the world, integrated inspiring footage from the London Olympics into the ads what seemed to be instantaneously.
Seemingly 2 minutes after Rebecca Soni became the first women ever to break the 2:20 mark in the 200M breast stroke, her world record breaking race and time were featured in an AT&T Rethink Possible ad. A young aspiring swimmer in the ad, actually wrote Rebecca's winning time on a dry erase board. I was floored at first, forgetting that the race actually happened 9 hours before the ad was played on national prime time TV. Still, I'm in advertising, so I know that a 9 hour turnaround time is amazing. What made the ads even more impressive was the realism. BBDO did not add some fake looking computer graphic overlay to show the record time.
How did BBDO and AT&T do the Olympic Rethink Possible ads? BBDO filmed the ad with the actor writing many possible times in a predicted range then edited in the matching time.
The Main Point
Almost anything is possible if you set your young athletes set their minds to it. Have them watch inspiring athletes and write down goals. Your kids can not strive for goals unless they have some.