MAA blast from the past: Olympic record-breaker Phelps for Under Armour

Will we see any great ads – or many ads at all – at the Tokyo “behind closed doors” Olympics which open on Friday?

The bar isn’t that high, outside the Paralympics, but here’s one from Droga5 for Under Armour featuring the great swimmer Michael Phelps who came out of retirement in Rio in 2016 to win his 19th gold (in the relay) out of 23 in all, a record.

Another reminder that Covid is a monumental pain but the Olympics has succeeded before in adverse circumstances: the terrorist attack at Munich in 1972 and the US boycott of Moscow 1980 when the Soviet Union (as it then was) had invaded Afghanistan. That war, you may have noticed, is still going on in a different guise.

This Games and the forthcoming FIFA World Cup, bizarrely set for that footballing hotspot Qatar, may tell us whether such massive (and contentious) international jamborees have a future.

D5 produced a good ad back in 2016 anyway.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.