#FanUpAUS: Optus asks Australia to Fan Up for the Olympics

Client work

In 2016, Optus became the official mobile multi-media partner of the Australian Olympic team. The first opportunity to activate around it was Rio 2016, facing the challenge of standing out in a cluttered partners space to drive awareness of the partnership.

Our social conversation analysis showed how international sport events, like the Olympics, inspire Australians to put aside their sporting allegiances to unite behind one team – Australia. We then positioned Optus as the ‘support network’: the nation’s cheerleader for the Aussie Olympic Team.

We leveraged Australia’s most loved Olympian, Ian Thorpe, and made it our mission to drum up national pride and support for the Aussie team, encouraging the public to send messages of support via social media using #FanUpAUS.

Ian Thorpe & Lee Lin Chin

We also enlisted celebrities and social influencers to show their support for the green and gold, encouraging their audience to do the same. As they poured in by the thousands, we livestreamed #FanUpAUS messages on huge screens at the Australian athletes’ base in Rio, in an cascade of love and support from fellow Aussies back home.

Fan Up Aus influencer post

With so much support and buzz around #FanUpAUS, we knew that our Olympians would want to get in on the action, so we got Thorpie to host In the Pool with Ian Thorpe, a social-first talk show where he interviewed a raft of Olympians – from Anna Meares to Mack Horton to Ellia Green, while chilling in the pool at the athlete’s village in Rio. The series even managed to make headlines across Australia and on the Today Show.

As a result, Optus not only had the largest share of voice of any of the Australian Olympic teams partners (27%), #FanUpAUS was the most used brand hashtag at the Olympics with over 45k UGC submissions from fans and influencers, generating 44.2m impressions, and the ‘In the Pool with Ian Thorpe’ series received over 16.4m views. The campaign was also a hit amongst the press, generating a PR value of $1.2m.

Most importantly, Optus was the most talked about Australian brand during the Olympics and the campaign drove a 7% increase in brand consideration.

FanUpAUS in Rio