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Trending Top Words of 2012: End-of-World stories, Kate, China, CERN, the Olympics

Global Language Monitor’s Top Words of 2012 projections from current word trends

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AUSTIN, Texas December 26, 2011 – Trending 2012:  Multiple End-of-World scenarios, Kate, China, CERN, the Olympics, The US Elections will dominate word creation and usage in the English language in 2012.

This is according to current word trends in global English being tracked by the Global Language Monitor. Last month, Austin, Texas-based Global Language Monitor had announced that ‘Occupy’ was the Top Word, ‘Arab Spring’ the Top Phrase and ‘Steve Jobs’ the Top Name of 2011 in its twelfth annual global survey of the English language.

To see the final list Top Words of 2012, go here.

 

The words are culled from throughout the English-speaking world, which now numbers more than 1.83 billion speakers (January 2012 estimate).
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The Projected Top Words of 2012
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1.  Kate — There are seven billion humans on the planet but sometimes it seems that it’s all about Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton in terms of fashion, celebrity, and the royal line.
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2.  Olympiad — The Greeks measured time by the four-year interval between the Games.  Moderns measure it by medal counts, rights fees and billions of eyeballs.
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3.  Middle Kingdom – There is little indication that China’s continuing economic surge will fade from the global media spotlight –or abate.
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4.  Bak’tun — A cycle of  144,000 days in the Maya ‘Long Count’ Calendar. This bak’tun ends on December 21, 2012, also being called the Mayan Apocalypse.  (Actually Maya ‘long-count’ calendars stretch hundreds of millions of years into the future, December 21st merely marks the beginning of a new cycle.)
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5.  Solar max —  The peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle;  in 1854 solar storms melted telegraph wires; what’s in store for our all-pervasive electronic infrastructure?
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6.  The Election —  No Obama-mania this time around, more of an Obama-ennui for the November 6 elections.
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8.  Rogue nukes —  Iran and North Korea will be the focus of attention here.
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9.  CERN — Neutrons traveling faster than light?  The ‘God Particle’? The world ending in a mini-black hole? All these somehow revolve around CERN (The European Center for Nuclear Research). One CERN scientist calculated that the chance of a mini-Black Hole swallowing the Earth is less than 1 in 50,000,000.  Somewhat comforting until you realize this is about ten times more likely than winning a national lottery.)
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10.  Global Warming — The earth has been warming since New York was covered under a mountain of ice; what makes 2012 any different?
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11.  Near-Earth Asteroid —  Yet another year, another asteroid, another near-miss. (However, one does strike the Earth every one hundred million years or so.)
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GLM employs its NarrativeTracker technologies for global Internet and social media analysis. NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture about any topic, at any point in time.
NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 75,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources as they emerge.

“The year 2012 looks to be a vibrant year for the English language with word creation again driven by events both scheduled and unanticipated. Typically there is an ‘end-of-the-world’ scenario every few years that impacts the English language. This year we will see no fewer than three, including the Maya Apocalypse and the Solar Max,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM.

”Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, will compete with the London Olympics, the economic surge of China, various activities involving the CERN atom smasher, and the US presidential election for Top Word honors, though we always allow for word creation generated from unexpected events such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or the Japanese ‘triple disaster’ of 2011.”

Rank / Word / Comments

7.  Deficit — Looks like deficit-spending will plague Western democracies for at least the next decade.

12.  Europe — United, breaking apart, saving the Euro, abandoning the Euro, with the UK again as an ‘interested onlooker’.  Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Bonus Phrase:   The successor term for ‘Arab Spring’, whatever that might be.


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First Ambush Marketing Rankings for London 2012

Subway, Red Bull and Sony among Top “Ambush Marketers” of London 2012 Olympics

Non-sponsors Ranking High on Brand Affiliation Index for London 2012

Austin, Texas, October 10, 2011.   Subway, Red Bull and Sony are among the Top “Ambush Marketers”  for the London 2012 Olympics.

The Ambush Marketing Rankings for London 2012 were released earlier today by The Global Language Monitor (GLM), the Internet and Media Trend Tracking Company.   In the rankings, GLM measures the strength of the brand affiliation for each official Olympic sponsor as well as those of their primary competitors.

Remember that once you download the London 2012 Ambush Marketing Update, you are entitled to one free hour of consultation from the Ambush Marketing experts from the Global Language Monitor, which has been tracking Branded Affiliations at the Olympics for the last three Olympiads.

Among Worldwide Partners, Samsung, McDonald’s, Visa, Dow and P&G scored the highest on GLM’s Brand Affiliation Index (BAI) for London 2012.

Ambush Marketers can, and often do, out-perform official sponsors.  “The term ambush marketing is well understood to mean that an organization knowingly exploits a brand affiliation with the Games — without the benefit of official sponsorship.  However, all perceived Olympic sponsors according to their presence in the global media, and statistically linked to the London Games, qualify for the Ambush Index. GLM measures whatever perceived relationship exists between their organizations and London 2012”, “said Paul JJ Payack, president of the Austin, Texas based Global Language Monitor.  “In some cases the brand affiliation is due to successful current or past affiliations, such as that of Lenovo and the Games.  Other times, it is because of clever (and legal) marketing efforts that exploit a company’s association with individual Olympians or sports in general, such as Subway ads with an Olympian who has come to symbolize the games themselves, or Red Bull securing naming rights to the Cycling venue.”

Among Worldwide Partners, the companies with the highest Brand Affiliation Index for London 2012 follow:

Rank Worldwide Partners Highest BAI
1. Samsung 66.15
2. McDonald’s 62.63
3. Visa 50.60
4. Dow 48.34
5. P&G 47.17

Leaders:  Highest Brand Affiliation Index

As you can see, Samsung, McDonald’s and the others are tightly tied to the upcoming games.

Not all organizations are faring as well in the BAI.  Here a few of the laggards in having their identities tied to London 2012.

Rank Worldwide Partners Lowest BAI
1. Panasonic 1.97
2. ATOS 7.81
3. Omega 8.95

Laggards:  Lowest Brand Affiliation Index

Among some Worldwide Partners, non-sponsor Sony scores a far higher BAI than the Official Worldwide Partner, Panasonic.  The same is true for Lenovo and Acer as well as Subway and McDonalds.

Rank Non-Sponsor BAI Score Sponsor BAI Score
1. Sony 280.75 Panasonic 1.97
2. Lenovo 101.00 Acer 33.81
3. Subway 145.90 McDonald’s 62.63

Non-sponsors with Higher BAI than Official Sponsors

Finally, the scores of all organizations are indexed against each other, to better understand the relative Brand Equity rankings of Sponsor vs. Non-sponsor.

So non-sponsor Nike has 13X more brand equity associated with London 2012 than the Official Partner, Adidas, while the Official Partner BA’s three main competitors combined have only a fraction of the associated brand equity associated compared to BA (.33 combined).

The Olympics are still ten months off, enough time for the laggards to improve their performance.

The Rankings will be released monthly up to and following London 2012.  Complete information on the monthly Ambush Marketing Rankings for London 2012 Olympics can be delivered as a subscription.  For Subscription information call 1.512.815.8836 or email pjjp@post.harvard.edu.

About Global Language Monitor

Founded in Silicon Valley, GLM collectively documents, analyzes and tracks trends worldwide, with a particular emphasis upon the English language. GLM employs proprietary ‘algorithmic methodologies’ such as the NarrativeTracker for global Internet and social media analysis.  NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic, at any point in time. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 75,000 print and electronic global media  media, as well as new social media sources.

Austin-based Global Language Monitor is the pioneer in web-based media analytics.

For more information, go to www.LanguageMonitor.com, call 1.512.815.8836, or email pjjp@post.harvard.edu.



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Who’s Sneaking into the London Games

A handful of clever marketers are ahead of official Olympic sponsors

 

By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine,

Sometimes perception is better than reality, and so it is for the brands that have managed to associate themselves with the Olympic Games without paying the exorbitant rights fees that come with official sponsorship.

They’re commonly referred to as “ambush marketers”, and though the London Games are still nearly a year away, some ambush marketers are making more of an impression on Olympic fans than the official sponsors.

That’s according to the first ambush marketing rankings for the London 2012 Olympic Games, released by The Global Language Monitor (GLM), which measures the strength of the brand affiliation between each of the worldwide partners, official partners, and official sponsors and the London Games and then compares it to competing companies that are not officially affiliated with the Games

Sony, Subway, DuPont, Barclay Card and Lenovo are the top five companies with the highest unofficial London brand affiliation.

All have a stronger association with the Games than the official sponsors they compete against.

They’ve achieved this by incorporating Olympic imagery into their ads, such as athletes competing in the sports being contested in London.

 

Though some object to the term “ambush”, it’s clear that their intention is to gain the positive affiliation with the Games without paying the sponsorship fees, which cost in the nine-figure range for top-level sponsorship.

“Few things in top-tier consumer-facing companies occur ‘naturally’ or ‘spontaneously,’ especially when they are engineered to look that way,” says Paul JJ Payack, president of GLM.

“This is why advertisers adept at associating themselves with an event, even though they are not ‘official’ sponsors of that event, can often out-perform official sponsors.”

Subway, for instance, is roughly two times as likely as official Olympics sponsor McDonald’s to be associated with the Games.

That’s mainly because swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Summer Olympian ever, appears in Subway ads.

“Subway is acknowledged as a leader in this regard [ambush marketing] with their close ties to Michael Phelps, who in many minds personifies the Olympic brand and spirit: clean-living, hard-work, pulling himself up by his own bootstraps,” says Payack.

Some sponsors are still reaping the benefits of past sponsorship. Lenovo, for example, ended its sponsorship deal after the 2008 Beijing Games, but the company is three times as likely as the computer vendor that took its place, Acer, to be associated with the Olympics.

The benefit to these ambush marketers is clear.

They get all of the positives of Olympic sponsorship – the feel-good vibes, the legitimacy, the eyeballs – at a much lower expense.

The International Olympic Committee is not happy about this, of course.

During last year’s Vancouver Games, it successfully lobbied the Canadian Parliament to pass a bill restricting the use of certain combinations of words and numbers in advertising, such as snow, winter and games, to prevent non-sponsors from piggybacking on the Games.

Still, clever advertisers always find a way around that.

Red Bull, which consistently ranks near the top of the ambush list, recently bought naming rights to the new velodrome in London that will house the indoor bicycle events, ensuring the brand name will be heard in broadcasts even if its ads will not.

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More: Who really won in Vancouver: Ambushers



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World Cup 2010’s Dubious Linguistic Achievement

Vuvuzela accepted into English language lexicon

Austin, TX July 12, 2010 – The World Cup 2010 was an historical affair in many regards, the a first for the African continent; a first for the South African people and, of course, a first for Spain.

Another perhaps unintended consequence of World Cup 2010 is the acceptance of the word, vuvuzela, into the English language lexicon according to the qualifying criteria established by Austin-based Global Language Monitor.

The vuvuzela are the seemingly ubiquitous brightly colored plastic horns, said to have the potential to inflict lasting hearing loss because of the loudness and pitch of a typical vuvuzela (B flat below middle C, according to the BBC).

“Vuvuzela appears certain to achieve a place (or at least some notoriety) within the ranks of the English language.  Vuvuzela has already appeared some 2450 times in a recent search of the New York Times archive,” said Paul JJ Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor.  “That is quick a few citations for the ‘first draft of history; even a quick Google search yield  over 6,000,000 hits on the term.”

The thresholds to cross into the English Lexicon include 25,000 citations meeting criteria for breadth of geographic dispersion along within a depth of media formats including the Internet, blogosphere and social media along with various formats of print and electronic media.  Since 2003, the Global Language Monitor has been recognizing new words or neologisms once they meet these criteria.

The word vuvuzela, itself of uncertain origin.  Some think it is related to the summoning horn, the kudu, for African villages.  Others speculate it to be derived from an onomatopoeic Zulu word for the sound ‘vu-vu’, or a word for noise making, while many believe it to be ‘township slang’ for shower (of noise).

English gets a new word – thanks to SA

Jul 18, 2010 12:00 AM | By Sashni Pather


The World Cup was historic in a few ways: a first for the African continent, South Africa’s people and for Spain.

WHAT A HOOT: Vuvuzela has won global recognition

Read More



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Red Bull Tops Vancouver Ambusher; P&G Strong

Who really won in Vancouver: Ambushers

Four of the five top brands at the Winter Games (MediaLife Magazine)


Red Bull Top Ambush Marketer at Vancouver Olympics

Proctor & Gamble, the No. 1 Olympic Sponsor of Any Type

Ambushers Pepsi and Verizon Best Sponsors Coca-Cola and AT&T

Subway Still Strong

“Gang of Five” Canadians beat all IOC sponsors except Visa

Austin, TX March 24, 2010 – The final TrendTopper Ambush Index™ of the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010 by Austin-based Global Language Monitor, has shown, once again, how companies adept at associating themselves with an event, even though they are not ‘official’ sponsors of that event, can often outperform official sponsors.

Specifically, for the Vancouver Olympics, TrendTopper AI has found that:

  • Red Bull and the Martin Scorsese film ‘Shutter Island’ are the top Ambush Marketers.  ‘Shutter Island’ forged its Olympic linkage by running innumerable prime-time ads during NBC’s exclusive coverage of the event.
  • Ambusher Pepsi beat sponsor Coca-Cola; Ambusher Verizon beat sponsor AT&T.
  • Subway, with it ongoing campaign with mega-medal winner Michael Phelps maintained strong ties to the Games.
  • The ‘Gang of Five,’ the smaller Canadian Ambushers (Blenz Coffee, Howe Sound Brewing, Lululemon, Scotiabank, and Roots Canada) all beat all IOC sponsors with the exception of Visa (which was bested by four of the five).
  • Proctor & Gamble performed surprisingly well as No. 2 overall and the No. 1 Sponsor of any type.

In addition, the analysis found that past official sponsors appear to bask in the glow of their Olympic association for some time after the quadrennial event with past-sponsor Lenovo outpacing current sponsors Acer and Samsung.

“Do Olympic Sponsorships actually pay off for official sponsors?  That’s the question that has advertisers buzzing,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM.  “Since TrendTopper AI measures all perceived Olympic sponsors according to their presence in the global media, If they are statistically linked to the Vancouver Games, they qualify for the Ambush Index.”

The TrendTopper Ambush Index tracks brand media presence in relation to the Winter Games.  It’s based upon GLM’s Predictive Quantities Index, a proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in print and electronic media, on the Internet and throughout the blogosphere, now including social media. The words and phrases are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.

For the 2009 – 2012 Olympic Quadrennial, there are nine Global Partners:  Coca-Cola, Acer, GE, McDonalds, Omega, Panasonic, Samsung, Visa, and AT&T.  The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has two additional national partners:  P&G and the Budweiser unit of inBev.  The Canadian Olympic committee has a number of local partners, of which five were included:  Deloitte, Tyson Foods, United Airlines, Hilton and Nike.

For this analysis, the Ambush Marketers included:  Verizon, Subway, Pepsi, MasterCard and Adidas in the Global Category.  The National Category included Lululemon Athletica, Blenz Coffee, Roots Canada, Scotiabank and Howe Sound Brewing.  Past sponsors who continue to enjoy the glow of past Olympic associations, such as: Allstate, Bank of America, Home Depot, and Lenovo were also included in the analysis.

The Top Twenty-five marketers as measured by brand media presence in relation to the Winter Games.

` VO Partner Affiliation
Rank
1 Howe Sound Brewing Ambusher
2 P&G USOC
3 Shutter Island Ambusher
4 Scotiabank Ambusher
5 Lululemon Athletica Ambusher
6 United COC
7 Blenz Coffee Ambusher
8 Visa IOC
9 Red Bull Ambusher
10 Tyson COC
11 Roots Canada Ambusher
12 Budweiser USOC
13 McDonalds IOC
14 Pepsi Ambusher
15 Home Depot Inc Tornino USOC
16 Subway Ambusher
17 Verizon Ambusher
18 Hudson’s Bay Ambushed
19 Exxon Mobil Corp Past Sponsor
20 Deloitte COC
21 AT&T IOC
22 Bank of America Torino USOC
23 Nike COC
24 Hilton COC
25 Omega IOC

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The complete study of forty brands, with numerical analysis and changes in rankings over the course of the Games is available from the Global Language Monitor by calling 925.367.7557 or visiting www.LanguageMonitor.com.

In the TrendTopper AI analysis, Marketers are ranked both by category and then overall. Rankings are calculated, normalized and cross-indexed.  For trend analysis, momentum and velocity calculations, the TrendTopper AI analysis was run at the halfway point of the Winters Games, with the final tally appearing after the Closing Ceremony.

In addition, a TrendTopper AI ranking of athletes will appear early next week and at the conclusion of the Games.  For more information, call 1.925.367.7557.



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Which Brands Really Won in Vancouver: Ambushers

Four of five top brands at Winter Games Were Ambush Marketers

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Red Bull Top Ambush Marketer at Vancouver Olympics

Proctor & Gamble, the No. 1 Olympic Sponsor of Any Type

Ambushers Pepsi and Verizon Best Sponsors Coca-Cola and AT&T

Subway Still Strong

“Gang of Five” Canadians beat all IOC sponsors except Visa

Austin, TX March 24, 2010 – The final TrendTopper Ambush Index™ of the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010 by Austin-based Global Language Monitor, has shown, once again, how companies adept at associating themselves with an event, even though they are not ‘official’ sponsors of that event, can often outperform official sponsors.

Specifically, for the Vancouver Olympics, TrendTopper AI has found that:

  • Red Bull and the Martin Scorsese film ‘Shutter Island’ are the top Ambush Marketers.  ‘Shutter Island’ forged its Olympic linkage by running innumerable prime-time ads during NBC’s exclusive coverage of the event.
  • Ambusher Pepsi beat sponsor Coca-Cola; Ambusher Verizon beat sponsor AT&T
  • Subway, with it ongoing campaign with mega-medal winner Michael Phelps maintained strong ties to the Games
  • The ‘Gang of Five,’ the smaller Canadian Ambushers (Blenz Coffee, Howe Sound Brewing, Lululemon, Scotiabank, and Roots Canada) all beat all IOC sponsors with the exception of Visa (which was bested by four of the five).
  • Proctor & Gamble performed surprisingly well as No. 2 overall and the No. 1 Sponsor of any type.

In addition, the analysis found that past official sponsors appear to bask in the glow of their Olympic association for some time after the quadrennial event with past-sponsor Lenovo outpacing current sponsors Acer and Samsung.

For GLM’s Analysis of the Beijing Olympics, go here.

“Do Olympic Sponsorships actually pay off for official sponsors?  That’s the question that has advertisers buzzing,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM.  “Since TrendTopper AI measures all perceived Olympic sponsors according to their presence in the global media, If they are statistically linked to the Vancouver Games, they qualify for the Ambush Index.”

The TrendTopper Ambush Index tracks brand media presence in relation to the Winter Games.  It’s based upon GLM’s Predictive Quantities Index, a proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in print and electronic media, on the Internet and throughout the blogosphere, now including social media. The words and phrases are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.

For the 2009 – 2012 Olympic Quadrennial, there are nine Global Partners:  Coca-Cola, Acer, GE, McDonalds, Omega, Panasonic, Samsung, Visa, and AT&T.  The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has two additional national partners:  P&G and the Budweiser unit of inBev.  The Canadian Olympic committee has a number of local partners, of which five were included:  Deloitte, Tyson Foods, United Airlines, Hilton and Nike.

For this analysis, the Ambush Marketers included:  Verizon, Subway, Pepsi, MasterCard and Adidas in the Global Category.  The National Category included Lululemon Athletica, Blenz Coffee, Roots Canada, Scotiabank and Howe Sound Brewing.  Past sponsors who continue to enjoy the glow of past Olympic associations, such as: Allstate, Bank of America, Home Depot, and Lenovo were also included in the analysis.

The Top Twenty-five marketers as measured by brand media presence in relation to the Winter Games.

` VO Partner Affiliation
Rank
1 Howe Sound Brewing Ambusher
2 P&G USOC
3 Shutter Island Ambusher
4 Scotiabank Ambusher
5 Lululemon Athletica Ambusher
6 United COC
7 Blenz Coffee Ambusher
8 Visa IOC
9 Red Bull Ambusher
10 Tyson COC
11 Roots Canada Ambusher
12 Budweiser USOC
13 McDonalds IOC
14 Pepsi Ambusher
15 Home Depot Inc Tornino USOC
16 Subway Ambusher
17 Verizon Ambusher
18 Hudson’s Bay Ambushed
19 Exxon Mobil Corp Past Sponsor
20 Deloitte COC
21 AT&T IOC
22 Bank of America Torino USOC
23 Nike COC
24 Hilton COC
25 Omega IOC

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The complete study of forty brands, with numerical analysis and changes in rankings over the course of the Games is available from the Global Language Monitor.

In the TrendTopper AI analysis, Marketers are ranked both by category and then overall. Rankings are calculated, normalized and cross-indexed.  For trend analysis, momentum and velocity calculations, the TrendTopper AI analysis was run at the halfway point of the Winters Games, with the final tally appearing after the Closing Ceremony.

Four GLM’s Analysis of the Beijing Olympics, go here.



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Ambush Marketers Tracked at Vancouver

Verizon, Subway & Pepsi among top Ambush marketers at Vancouver Games

Winter Olympics tracked by the TrendTopper Ambush Index

Canadian companies Roots Canada and Lululemon lead Overall Rankings

Austin, Texas.  February 18, 2010 – Verizon, Subway, and Pepsi are among the top ‘Ambush’ marketers for the opening weekend of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games according to the TrendTopper Ambush Index (TrendTopper AI™) of Austin-based Global Language Monitor. Ambush marketers are companies that attempt to associate themselves with an event even though they are not ‘official’ sponsors of that event.  Of course, it should be noted that alleged ‘ambush’ marketers generally disagree with this designation, insisting that they are simply pursuing marketing ‘best practices’.

Naming and shaming for Olympic ambush marketers (Reuters)

The TrendTopper Ambush Index tracks brand media presence in relation to the Winter Games.  It’s based upon GLM’s Predictive Quantities Index, a proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in print and electronic media, on the Internet and throughout the blogosphere, now including social media. The words and phrases are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.

For the 2009 – 2012 Olympic Quadrennial, there are nine Global Partners:  Coca-Cola, Acer, GE, McDonalds, Omega, Panasonic, Samsung, Visa, and AT&T.  The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has two additional national partners:  P&G and the Budweiser unit of inBev. The Canadian Olympic committee has a number of local partners, of which five were included:  Deloitte, Tyson Foods, United Airlines, Hilton and Nike.

For this analysis, the alleged Ambush Marketers included:  Verizon, Subway, Pepsi, MasterCard and Adidas in the Global Category. The National Category included Lululemon Athletica, Blenz Coffee, Roots Canada, Scotiabank, and Howe Sound Brewing.    Past sponsors, also,  who continue to enjoy the glow of past Olympic associations, such as: Allstate, Bank of America, Home Depot, and Lenovo were also included in the analysis.

“The TrendTopper MediaBuzz Ambush Index ranks all perceived Olympic sponsors according to their presence in the global media, whether or not they see themselves as such,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM.  “If they are statistically linked to the Vancouver Games, they qualify for the Ambush Index”.

The IOC defines ambush marketing as leveraging the “goodwill of the Olympic/Paralympic Movement by creating a false, unauthorized association with the Olympic/Paralympic Movement.”  Whether the marketer does this intentionally or inadvertently, it allows the marketer to benefit from an association with the Olympic Brand without providing any financial support to them.

The Top Twenty-five marketers as measured by brand media presence in relation to the Winter Games follow.

Rank (1-25), Marketer, and Affiliation

1.   Roots Canada — alleged Ambush Marketer

2.   Proctor & Gamble — USOC

3.   Deloitte — Canadian

4.   Budweiser unit of inBev — USOC

5.   Lululemon — alleged Ambush Marketer

6.   NBC unit of General Electric — IOC

7.   Tyson Foods — Canada

8.    McDonalds — IOC

9.    Polo Ralph Lauren — USOC

10.  Hilton — Canada

11.   Nike — Canada

12.  Verizon — Alleged Ambushed

13.  AT&T — IOC

14.  Subway — Alleged Ambusher

15.  Pepsi — Alleged Ambusher

16.  Coca-Cola — IOC

17.  MasterCard — Alleged Ambusher

18.  Omega — IOC

19.  United Airlines — Canada

20.  Adidas — Alleged Ambusher

21.  General Electric — IOC

22.  Visa — IOC

23.  Panasonic — IOC

24.  Samsung — IOC

25.  Acer — IOC

Over the course of the last several Olympiads (or quadrennials as they are now called), the IOC has significantly tightened the reins on the use of certain words without permission.  For example, the Canadian Parliament has restricted use of some fairly common words in certain combinations without specific permission.

For example, words on Lists 1 and 2 may not be combined.

List 1: Games, 2010, Twenty-ten, 21st, XXIst, 10th, Tenth, Xth, or Medals

List 2: Winter, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Sponsor, Vancouver, or Whistler

In the TrendTopper AI analysis, Marketers are ranked both by category and then overall.  Rankings are calculated, normalized and cross-indexed.

For trend analysis, momentum and velocity calculations, the TrendTopper AI analysis will be run at the halfway point of the Winters Games, with the final tally appearing after the Closing Ceremony.

In addition, a TrendTopper AI ranking of athletes will appear early next week and at the conclusion of the Games.  For more information, call 1.512.815.8836.



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Ambush Marketing at the Vancouver Olympics

Ambush Marketing?

Verizon, Subway & Pepsi among top Ambush marketers at Vancouver Games

Winter Olympics tracked by the TrendTopper Ambush Index

Canadian companies Roots Canada and Lululemon lead Overall Rankings

Austin, Texas.  February 18, 2010 – Verizon, Subway, and Pepsi are among the top ‘Ambush’ marketers for the opening weekend of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games according to the TrendTopper Ambush Index (TrendTopper AI™) of Austin-based Global Language Monitor. Ambush marketers are companies that attempt to associate themselves with an event even though they are not ‘official’ sponsors of that event.  Of course, it should be noted that alleged ‘ambush’ marketers generally disagree with this designation, insisting that they are simply pursuing marketing ‘best practices’.

Naming and shaming for Olympic ambush marketers (Reuters)

The TrendTopper Ambush Index tracks brand media presence in relation to the Winter Games.  It’s based upon GLM’s Predictive Quantities Index, a proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in print and electronic media, on the Internet and throughout the blogosphere, now including social media. The words and phrases are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.

For the 2009 – 2012 Olympic Quadrennial, there are nine Global Partners:  Coca-Cola, Acer, GE, McDonalds, Omega, Panasonic, Samsung, Visa, and AT&T.  The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has two additional national partners:  P&G and the Budweiser unit of inBev. The Canadian Olympic committee has a number of local partners, of which five were included:  Deloitte, Tyson Foods, United Airlines, Hilton and Nike.

For this analysis, the alleged Ambush Marketers included:  Verizon, Subway, Pepsi, MasterCard and Adidas in the Global Category. The National Category included Lululemon Athletica, Blenz Coffee, Roots Canada, Scotiabank, and Howe Sound Brewing.    Past sponsors, also,  who continue to enjoy the glow of past Olympic associations, such as: Allstate, Bank of America, Home Depot, and Lenovo were also included in the analysis.

“The TrendTopper MediaBuzz Ambush Index ranks all perceived Olympic sponsors according to their presence in the global media, whether or not they see themselves as such,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM.  “If they are statistically linked to the Vancouver Games, they qualify for the Ambush Index”.

The IOC defines ambush marketing as leveraging the “goodwill of the Olympic/Paralympic Movement by creating a false, unauthorized association with the Olympic/Paralympic Movement.”  Whether the marketer does this intentionally or inadvertently, it allows the marketer to benefit from an association with the Olympic Brand without providing any financial support to them.

The Top Twenty-five marketers as measured by brand media presence in relation to the Winter Games follow.

Rank (1-25), Marketer, and Affiliation

1.   Roots Canada — alleged Ambush Marketer

2.   Proctor & Gamble — USOC

3.   Deloitte — Canadian

4.   Budweiser unit of inBev — USOC

5.   Lululemon — alleged Ambush Marketer

6.   NBC unit of General Electric — IOC

7.   Tyson Foods — Canada

8.    McDonalds — IOC

9.    Polo Ralph Lauren — USOC

10.  Hilton — Canada

11.   Nike — Canada

12.  Verizon — Alleged Ambushed

13.  AT&T — IOC

14.  Subway — Alleged Ambusher

15.  Pepsi — Alleged Ambusher

16.  Coca-Cola — IOC

17.  MasterCard — Alleged Ambusher

18.  Omega — IOC

19.  United Airlines — Canada

20.  Adidas — Alleged Ambusher

21.  General Electric — IOC

22.  Visa — IOC

23.  Panasonic — IOC

24.  Samsung — IOC

25.  Acer — IOC

Over the course of the last several Olympiads (or quadrennials as they are now called), the IOC has significantly tightened the reins on the use of certain words without permission.  For example, the Canadian Parliament has restricted use of some fairly common words in certain combinations without specific permission.

For example, words on Lists 1 and 2 may not be combined.

List 1: Games, 2010, Twenty-ten, 21st, XXIst, 10th, Tenth, Xth, or Medals

List 2: Winter, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Sponsor, Vancouver, or Whistler

In the TrendTopper AI analysis, Marketers are ranked both by category and then overall.  Rankings are calculated, normalized and cross-indexed.

For trend analysis, momentum and velocity calculations, the TrendTopper AI analysis will be run at the halfway point of the Winters Games, with the final tally appearing after the Closing Ceremony.

In addition, a TrendTopper AI ranking of athletes will appear early next week and at the conclusion of the Games.  For more information, call 1.512.815.8836.



click
tracking


2008 Olympics Brand Rankings

The Medal Round

Final GLM TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings:

.

Olympic Global Sponsors: GLM TrendTopper Medal Round

.

Lenovo Takes the Gold Pulling Away,

.

J&J Finishes Strong Edging McDonald’s,

.

Coca-Cola Leaps Over Rivals

.

Austin, Texas, USA. August 29, 2008.   The final week of the GLM TrendTopper™ analysis of the performance of the Global Sponsors at the Beijing Olympics, Lenovo (OTC: LNVGY) takes the Gold pulling away from the pack, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) finishes strong edging McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) for the Silver, while Coca-Cola (NYSE: K), in a bold move leaps five spots to No. 4.  On the downside, Samsung (OTC: SSNFL) and Kodak (NYSE: K) each fell three spots to No. 6 and 7 respectively.

Over the last two weeks Lenovo has completed its remarkable climb from No. 10 to the Top Spot. The analysis was performed by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com), the internet and media tracking agency.

.

Global Sponsors

Last

Change

Rank

1

Lenovo

1

0

2

J&J

5

3

3

McDonald’s

2

-1

4

Coca-Cola

9

5

5

Visa

6

1

6

Samsung

3

-3

7

Kodak

4

-3

8

Panasonic

7

-1

9

Omega

8

-1

10

GE

10

0

11

Atos Origin

11

0

12

Manulife

12

0

According to Paul JJ Payack, President, “In medal round of our competition, Lenovo performed a Phelpsian move pulling away from the crowd. In fact its media awareness grew over 2100% since our baseline ‘snapshot’ on the last day of 2007. The strength of the Johnson & Johnson brand was also remarkable at No. 2. McDonald’s brand equity was leveraged in clever and interesting ways, especially with their spectacular kick-off event. And, once again, Coca-Cola proved itself in the distance events, placing at or near the top for another Olympiad.”

Media Awareness

Since 12/31/07

1

Lenovo

2

Panasonic

3

Kodak

4

Samsung

5

McDonald’s

.

When the ‘ambush marketers’ are are included with the Global Sponsors, the DreamWorks Animation studio, makers of “Kung Fu Panda”, rose to an unprecedented No. 5, while Nike (NYSE: NKE) just did it and finished at No.9. Pepsi (NYSE: PEP), which owns the Gatorade brand, was up slightly, while American Express (NYSE: AMX) fell five spots.


Ambushers Included

Last

Change

Rank

1

Lenovo

1

0

2

J&J

5

3

3

McDonald’s

2

-1

4

Coca-Cola

12

8

5

Kung fu Panda

8

3

6

Visa

6

0

7

Samsung

3

-4

8

Nike

9

1

9

Kodak

4

-5

10

Panasonic

10

0

11

Omega

11

0

12

Amex

7

-5

13

Pepsi

14

1

14

GE

13

-1

15

Atos Origin

15

0

16

Manulife

16

0

The Global Sponsors for the Beijing Games are: General Electric (NBC Universal), Coca-Cola, Kodak, Samsung, Lenovo, McDonalds, Omega, Visa, Johnson & Johnson, Panasonic, Manulife and Atos Origin. The ambush marketers being tracked include American Express, Nike, DreamWorks and their hit movie “Kung Fu Panda”, and Pepsi, which owns the Gatorade brand.

GLM uses proprietary algorithms to analyze how words and phrases (in this case brand names) are used globally in relationship to other words and phrases (in this case related to the Beijing Olympics) and how they perform against one another in order to determine rankings and other relevant outputs.

Olympic MediaBuzz Medal Round:  ATHLETES

Phelps Takes Gold,

Newly-coined Media Star Lin Miaoke takes the Silver,

Nastia Liunkin Edges Shawn Johnson for Bronze

Yang Peiyi and Cheng Fei Finish Strong, Yao Ming slips.

Austin, Texas, USA.   August 28, 2008.   In the medal round of the TrendTopper MediaBuzzTM analysis of the Beijing Olympics, GLM measured how the global media buzz surrounding key athletes changed during the course of the Games.  In the MediaBuzz Medal Round, Michael Phelps took the gold as he pulled away from the pack. The silver belongs to Lin Miaoke, the newly-coined media star. And in a mild surprise, Nastia Liunkin bolted from No. 11 to No. 3 edging out Shawn Johnson for the bronze.

Both Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, the Jamaican sprinters, fared poorly evidencing little staying power, while Guo Jing Jing, apparently having had her moment in the sun, faded.

And, in yet another compelling twist, Lin Miaoke’s counterpart, Yang Peiyi, the little girl who did, indeed, sing the song the whole world sings moved up ten spots to No. 5. The analysis was performed by the Global Language Monitor (GLM), the internet and media tracking agency.

Paul JJ Payack, GLM’s President and Chief Word Analyst, said “The media story for the Beijing Olympics was much larger than Michael Phelps. The plots and subplots, twists and entanglements were compelling at almost every level – from the Opening ceremony to the very end. Each of these was well reflected in the TrendTopper MediaBuzz analysis.” 

The ranking follows and includes rank, name, last week’s rank, and change.

Rank

Athlete

Last

Change

1

Michael Phelps (US)

1

0

2

Lin Miaoke (CHI)

2

0

3

Nastia Liukin (US)

11

8

4

Shawn Johnson (US)

9

5

5

Yang Peiyi (Chi)

15

10

6

Cheng Fei (Chi)

17

11

7

Yao ming (CHI)

3

-4

8

Tyson Gay (US)

10

2

9

Cate Campbell (AUS)

12

3

10

Dara Torres (US)

5

-5

11

Leisel Jones (AUS)

13

2

12

Usain Bolt (JAM)

4

-8

13

Grant Hackett (AUS)

20

7

14

Liu Xiang (CHI)

18

4

15

Paula Radcliffe (UK)

19

4

16

Asafa Powell (JAM)

6

-10

17

Allyson Felix (US)

16

-1

18

Sanya Richards (US)

24

6

19

Ben Ainslie (UK)

14

-5

20

Paul Hamm (US)

7

-13

21

Jeremy Wariner (US)

22

1

22

Jana Rawlinson (AUS)

21

-1

23

Jo Pavey (UK)

23

0

24

Libby Lenton (AUS)

25

1

25

Guo Jing Jing (CHI)

8

-17

(For more information and other metrics, call 1.512.815.8336.)

Olympian Media Buzz:  The Athletes Ranked, Midway Point

Bolts’ Phelpsian Surge; Guo Jing Jing as in Bling Bling; Shawn Johnson’s Golden Buzz; Cate Campbell Does Swimmingly.

Liu Xiang, Tyson Gay and Paula Radcliffe Plummet.

Austin, Texas, USA.   August 21, 2008.   In its latest TrendTopperTM analysis of the Beijing Olympics, GLM measured how the media buzz surrounding key athletes has changed during the course of the

Games.  As expected Michael Phelps remains a strong No.1 on the TrendTopper BuzzMeter.

The surprise No. 2, however, belongs to Lin Miaoke, the little girl who didn’t sing the song the whole word sings at the Opening Ceremony.  Miaoke knocked NBA star Yao Ming down to No. 3.

Lin Miaoke est devenue une célébrité internationale (PeoplesDaily en francais, 8.26.2008)

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt moved up five spots to No. 4.  Forty-one year-old Dara Torres moved up three spots to No. 5, American elite gynmast Shawn Johnson

was up to No. 9 and 16-year-old Cate Campbell jumped eleven spots to No. 12.

See Lip Syncher Gets Her 15 Minutes of Fame on Reuters

.

See The View from China: The Mirror’s Front Page Headline — Lin Miaoke defeats the “little giant

On the downside, Tyson Gay, with a shocking loss in semi-final of 100M, Liu Xiang, China’s first track gold medalist back in Athens, and the UK’s Paula Radcliffe saw their rankings plummet six, eleven and sixteen spots respectively.  The analysis was performed by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com), the internet and media tracking agency.

Paul JJ Payack, GLM’s President and Chief Word Analyst, said “Michael Phelps has joined the athletic Pantheon of Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Pele and Ali, Usain Bolt (No. 4) may be well on the way to becoming the next Michael Phelps, and if lip-syncer Lin Miaoke (No. 2) and Yang Peiyi (No. 15), her singing counterpart, were in the US, they’d be making the rounds of the morning talk shows.”

See Analysis by Brent Hunsberger of the Oregonian

See Analysis by Howard Bloom of Sports Business News

.

Rank Athlete Last Change Comment
1 Michael Phelps (US) 1 0 A new word: Phelpsian?
2 Lin Miaoke (CHI) 25 23 Didn’t sing the song the whole world sings
3 Yao ming (CHI) 2 -1 Got China to the Medal Round
4 Usain Bolt (JAM) 9 5 Bolts to WR in 100M; the next Michael Phelps?
5 Dara Torres (US) 8 3 41-years old with 3 silvers
6 Asafa Powell (JAM) 5 -1 Fifth to Bolt in 100M
7 Paul Hamm (US) 6 -1 Reigning Gold Medalist pulls out but still media favorite
8 Guo Jing Jing (CHI) 18 10 Most successful female diver in Olympic history
9 Shawn Johnson (US) 15 6 Three silvers and a gold; multiple near-misses
10 Tyson Gay (US) 4 -6 Shocking loss in semi of 100M
11 Nastia Liukin (US) 14 3 Moving up with steadily with her Gold, Silver and Bronze
12 Cate Campbell (AUS) 23 11 Australian wunderkind up 11 spots
13 Leisel Jones (AUS) 17 4 Sets Olympic record in 100M breaststroke
14 Ben Ainslie (UK) 16 2 Three golds for sailing
15 Yang Peiyi (Chi) 22 7 Pulled from Ode to the Nation just 15 minutes beforehand
16 Allyson Felix (US) 12 -4 Didn’t make through the 100M trials
17 Cheng Fei (Chi) 21 4 90 pounds and the heaviest Chinese gymnast
18 Liu Xiang (CHI) 7 -11 China’s first track gold medalist in 110M hurdles in Athens
19 Paula Radcliffe (UK) 3 -16 Disappointed UK fans for 2nd Olympic marathon
20 Grant Hackett (AUS) 10 -10 Narrowly missed out on 3rd straight 1500M freestyle
21 Jana Rawlinson (AUS) 20 -1 World 400m hurdles champion withdraw due to injury
22 Jeremy Wariner (US) 11 -11 On track to 400m final
23 Jo Pavey (UK) 24 1 Unable to run  into medal contention in the 10000m final
24 Sanya Richards (US) 13 -11 Fastest qualifying time in the 400M
25 Libby Lenton (AUS) 19 -6 One of the Aussie Golden Girls

Olympic Global Sponsors vs. Ambush Marketers

GLM TrendTopper™ Analysis: Olympics Week 2


Mickey D surges to Top,

J&J a strong No. 2,

Visa up to No.3

Lenovo strong, but Coke & Kodak fall

.

Austin, Texas, USA. August 13, 2008.   In Week 2 of the GLM TrendTopper™ analysis of the performance of the Global Sponsors of the Beijing Summer Games McDonald’s (nyse:  MCD) topped the field, while Johnson & Johnson (nyse: JNJ) moved up three notches to No. 2, while Visa (nyse: V) was up one at No.3. Lenovo (LNVGY), the PC maker, had a very strong performance, moving up six spots to No. 4.

.

Forbes: Sponsors step up pace to get Olympic mileage

Olympic Global Sponsors vs. Ambush Marketers

On the negative side, Samsung (SSNFL) plunged from the top spot to No. 5; Coke (nyse: KO) fell from No.2 to No.7, while Kodak (nyse:  EK) settled in at No. 10, losing three. The analysis was performed by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com), the media tracking agency.

Global Sponsors
Last
Rank
Change
With Ambushers
Last
Change
Survey
Survey
Rank
Rank
1
McDonald’s
3
3
2
1
McDonald’s
3
2
2
J&J
5
5
3
2
J&J
7
5
3
Visa
4
1
1
3
Amex
6
3
4
Lenovo
10
10
6
4
Visa
4
0
5
Samsung
1
1
-4
5
Nike
5
0
6
Panasonic
9
9
3
6
Lenovo
14
8
7
Coca-Cola
2
2
-5
7
Samsung
1
-6
8
GE
6
6
-2
8
Panasonic
13
5
9
Omega
8
8
-1
9
Coca-Cola
2
-7
10
Kodak
7
7
-3
10
GE
9
-1
11
Atos Origin
12
12
1
11
Kung fu Panda
8
-3
12
Manulife
11
11
-1
12
Pepsi
10
-2
13
Omega
12
-1
14
Kodak
11
-3
15
Atos Origin
16
1
16
Manulife
15
-1

When included in the Survey with the Global Sponsors, American Express (nyse: AXP) and Nike (NKE) both stayed in the Top Five, with Amex moving up three positions to No. 3. The DreamWorks Animation studio, which made “Kung Fu Panda”, and Pepsi (nyse: PEP), which owns Gatorade fell three and two spots respectively.

According to Paul JJ Payack, President, “The TrendTopper analysis suggests that McDonald’s has successfully capitalized on its blow-out kickoff event last week, while Samsung’s huge marketing push seems to have faltered in Week Two. Johnson&Johnson was apparently correct in their analysis of their Olympic-themed ads having significantly greater recall. And Lenovo seems to have done everything right this week, with a 50%+ increase in visibility. At the same time, Kodak declined some 20%. On the ‘ambush marketing’ side, Amex’ visibility increased significantly and Nike remained quite strong besting nine of the twelve global sponsors.”

The Global Sponsors for the Beijing Games are: General Electric (NBC Universal), Coca-Cola, Kodak, Samsung, Lenova, McDonalds, Omega, Visa, Johnson & Johnson, Panasonic, Manulife and Atos Origin. The ambush marketers being tracked include American express, Nike, DreamWorks and their hit movie “Kung Fu Panda”, and Pepsi, which owns the Gatorade brand.

GLM uses proprietary algorithms to analyze how words and phrases (in this case brand names) are used globally in relationship to other words and phrases (in this case related to the Beijing Olympics) and how they perform against one another in order to determine rankings and other relevant outputs. GLM will update the TrendTopper ranking each week during the Games.

GLM TrendTopper™ Analysis: Olympics Week 1

  • Samsung Vaults to Top,

  • Coke Close Second,

  • McDonald’s Moves Up to No. 3

Ambush Marketers Move into Top Ten:  Nike, AMEX, Kung Fu Panda & Pepsi

Austin, Texas, USA. August 10, 2008.   (Updated) In an exclusive GLM TrendTopper™ analysis of the performance of the Global Sponsors of the Beijing Summer Games found Samsung vaulting to the lead position of Beijing Field, Coca-Cola a close second, with McDonald’s moving up to the third position. It also found that Visa stumbled out of the gate losing three positions, while Johnson & Johnson held steady at No. 5. General Electric (and its NBC Universal division) rebounded after losing the early lead position. The analysis was performed by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com), a media tracking agency.


In a related finding, GLM found that four companies were perceived as Global Sponsors though they are not: Nike, American Express, the DreamWorks Animation studio, which made “Kung Fu Panda”, and Pepsi, which owns Gatorade. When added into the analysis, Nike moves to No.5, American Express at No.6, Kung Fu Panda (No. 8), and Pepsi (No.10) in the expanded field.

According to Paul JJ Payack, President, “The TrendTopper analysis suggests that Samsung’s huge marketing push seems to be paying off, and though GE is very strong, and started the year at the top of the survey, it has very little marketing momentum as the games unfold. Also, the non-global sponsor companies appear to be doing quite well off their ‘ties’ to the Beijing Games.”

The Global Sponsors for the Beijing Games are: General Electric (NBC Universal), Coca-Cola, Kodak, Samsung, Lenova, McDonalds, Omega, Visa, Johnson & Johnson, Panasonic, Manulife and Atos Origin.

GLM uses proprietary algorithms to analyze how words and phrases (in this case brand names) are used globally in relationship to other words and phrases (in this case related to the Beijing Olympics) and how they perform against one another in order to determine rankings and other relevant outputs. GLM will update the TrendTopper ranking each week during the Games.

The GLM TrendTopper Analysis with Non-sponsors included follows.

Rank

Change in Week

1

Samsung

3

2

Coca-Cola

0

3

McDonald’s

0

4

Visa

-3

NS

Nike

NS

NS

American Express

NS

5

J&J

0

NS

Kung fu Panda

NS

6

GE

4

NS

Pepsi

NS

7

Kodak

+2

8

Omega

-2

9

Panasonic

-1

10

Lenova

-3

11

Manulife

0

12

Atos Origin

0

For more information on the methodology, go here.

For analysis details (including historical data and momentum), call 1.512.815.8836.

The Glory that was Greece Vs. the Media!


Athens Olympics:

Greek Symbols Can Be a Trojan Horse for Reporters

Journalists go gaga over Greek words

Writing about the Olympics in the land of Oedipus can be a complex business.  The world’s journalists are finding inspiration in classical Greek drama and myth. After all, Nike is not just a running shoe in these parts.

It is not every day that you can have the sword of Damocles hovering, athletes suffering from Achilles heels and teams enduring Pyrrhic victories.  Herculean efforts abound in the land of Marathon races.
Homer, the poet and not the Simpson family patriarch, hovers over every baseball game.

With all this rich symbolism available, it is not hard for a journalist to enjoy a Eureka moment and declare that Greek sailors are on a Poseidon adventure in the sailing regatta.

NBC sports commentator Bob Costas won hoots back home when during opening night ceremonies he told co-host Katie Couric, ”Oedipus, as you know, Katie, was the tragic king who killed his father and married his mother — a sequence of events that rarely turns out well.” He topped that line moments later when he noted that Alexander the Great had competed indifferently in the Olympics.
”As an athlete, he might have been Alexander the so-so.” Thanks to a doping scandal involving two Greek sprinters, one of the most overused phrases of the Games for the last 48 hours has been ”Greek tragedy”.

As the Ottawa Citizen noted: ”On the night that Greece dared to dance with the gods of Olympia, a sentimental journey to antiquity was jolted by a modern reality.  ”Doping. A scandal involving two Greek athletic stars has stunned and shamed the host nation … Afairy tale becomes a Greek tragedy, or is it a farce? It’s hard to tell.” The Citizen was not alone as he began his Olympic Odyssey.

Legions of reporters (present company included), waxed lyrical about the dangers of Hubris. Drawing on the references of ancient Greece is to be expected, says language expert Paul JJ Payack.  Payack, the president of the Global Language Monitor, said: ”There were more than 3,000 references to Classic Greek history and mythology in the media and on the Internet this morning versus virtually none only 30 days ago.

”There is an almost desperate attempt in the worldwide media frenzy to link any news story to the Athens Olympics and classical Greek history, with the overuse of such terms as sword of Damocles, Trojan horse and Achilles heel.

The Olympics in Land of Oedipus (Persian Gulf News)

The King Isn’t Dead After All!

The Tangles of Time: A Brief History of Chess

By Paul JJ Payack

Chess yields us,
when we need them most,
companions in our loneliness.
—Mu’ Tazz

As masterful a player as Emmanuel Lasker regarded chess as neither an art nor a science but rather a war in which the pieces served as troops and the players the generals. This stemmed from the notion that chess was invented as a war game and so, that is the manner in which it should executed. Undoubtedly reality is reflected in the idea that chess originated either as an aid or substitute for warfare.

Lasker maintained that to understand its creation all that is needed is an understanding of the method of classical warfare. Lasker explained that opposing armies would take their positions in nearly straight lines separated by a nearly level plain. The generals, in order to make their plans comprehensible to their commanders, would sketch the original position and later movements of their pawns and men. Lasker was fond of using the Battle of Cannae, 216 BC, as an illustration. At Cannae, the Carthaginians under the command of Hannibal defeated a Roman force nearly twice their number with superior strategy.

Lasker thought that it was entirely possible that Hannibal not only drew lines and placed stones on a board to explain his stratagems, but did so on what would one day be called a chequer-board. This was given the now familiar shape of a square divided into sixty-four smaller squares, colored black and white alternately. Though Lasker’s contention that chess was invented as a game of war is undoubtedly true, he seems to have postdated its conception by some eight centuries and misplaced it by several worlds.

After a millennium passed in the Buddhist era, various references occur to a game that seems the direct forbear of present-day chess. According to Sanskrit literature, apart from the central king and counselor, the pieces represented the quadrants of the ancient Indian army: war chariots, cavalry, elephants, and foot soldiers. The Upper Basin of the Ganges, or thereabouts, was the locale where this game first appeared. Since the area was a Buddhist stronghold, it is not unreasonable to assume that their monks had a hand in its inception. Since Buddhists oppose the killing of any form of life, it can be hypothesized that the game was invented as a bloodless substitute for war (by allowing men to engage in a combat of a higher sort).

In this version the infantrymen moved as pawns of all times and places, excepting the modern two-square debut. The cavalrymen were placed and manipulated in the same manner as the knight. The elephants’ movements were diagonal and limited to two squares, therefore they were inherently weaker than the bishops into which they were later transformed. The chariots were equal in every respect to the castles which through some ripple in history came to be called rooks. And the counselor, beside the king, moved diagonally also and only one square per move; as time passed its powers were increased to that of the bishop, thereby considerably enhancing the complexity of the game.

Chess spread rapidly (in historical terms) from the Subcontinent to the curiously diverse cultures further west, each leaving ineradicable traces of their time and culture. Persia bestowed the name to the game. Words, unlike mathematical formulae, both lose and gain in their sojourn through time and place. Aside from the usual etymological eddies, the development of the name flowed as follows. The Persian shah “king” came through the Arabic and the tangles of time to Europe as, among other variations, the Old French (e)sches, plural of (e)schek “check” derived from “shah.” From there it was but a minor simplification to the Saxon and Modern English word “chess.”

The culmination of this bloodless substitute for bloodletting is the murder of the enemy king, although the modern game ends euphemistically with the checkmate. This term, too, can be traced through a millennium to Persia. Shah mat “checkmate” means ‘the king (shah) is dead,’ where “mat” is related to the Latin stem mort- “death” found in “mortuary.”

Within a generation of the Hegira, the Arabs conquered Persia in the sacred name of Mohammed. As is usually the case, the two cultures became inextricably entwined and from that time forward it was the Islamic culture that became the primary vehicle of chess. As the game was carried from land to land it underwent a series of transmutations, some surprising and some not so surprising at all.

The Elephant was reduced to its ears. That is it was simplified (for reasons of convenience and religion) to a lump of wood, with a cut extracted from its center. An item of far more interest concerns the Arab rukh which predates the English rook for crow. It is still a matter of some controversy whether the rook was actually a chariot, a bird, or even a ship. It is highly probable that in differing cultures in differing centuries it was each.

In Arabia there seems little doubt that the chariot was replaced by a moderately prominent member the then-current mythology. In Arabian Nights the rukh was an enormous bird of gigantic girth which was inordinately wide of wing; a vast magnification of the eagle or condor. In most variations, the bird had the ability to carry an elephant, and sometimes several, in its talons. The thread of interest that lies about and through all variations of the rukh myth is that it was, whatever else, a deadly enemy of the elephant. (Later, with the aristocratization of chess, the elephant would be transformed into an ecclesiastic.)

Soon chess was a commonplace throughout the world of Islam, from Andalus in the West to the Indus in the East. The Moors carried chess to the Iberian Peninsula during the eighth century of the Christian era, and the Eastern Empire in Byzantium also learned of the game before the century had waned. From Iberia it spread to the north of Europe, while Russia seems to have acquired the game directly from India. (In Russian chess bears its original name, shakh-maty.)

During the High Middle Ages chess became a leisure time activity of the feudal lords, and the pieces began to resemble the aristocracy. (The rukh became, curiously enough, a castle.) A knowledge of ‘Nights and Days’ was considered a social grace for every genteel and parfait knight. Obviously, one reason for this was the connection between chess and war. Soon the powers of certain pieces were increased,making the game much more lively or, if you prefer, deadly.

That lump of wood with the split was not recognized in Europe as an elephant. This was understandably so, since to the folks of medieval Europe an elephant was just as much a mythological creature as the rukh, and possibly more so. To those who were unaware of its esoteric meaning, the elephant, also suggested a bishop’s mitre, an old man, a count or a fool. To this day in French the man is called Le Fou “the fool” and it is diagramed as a cap and bells.

The English, however, were the first to introduce chess diagrams to printing and since the piece remained a bishop there (and in Iceland) the bishop’s mitre would soon become the worldwide standard. However, Germans use this now universal symbol for their laufer “runner” while Russians use the mitre for their slon “the elephant.”

The evolution of the king’s counselor into the queen has been attributed to the similarity of the Arabic word fere “advisor,” to the French vierge “maiden” but probably can be more simply attributed to the make-up of the feudal court. A parallel between the historical liberation of women and the glorification of Mary by the Church could also have been factors in the metamorphosis.

And finally, a mention should be made of pawns; those so adequately named pieces which are even denied the status of chess ‘men’. They are, without exception in all cultures, represented by conveniently small and humble objects. For these there seems a universal need. History: read it and weep.

There are some 1.7 x 10 to the 29th methods of playing the first ten moves of this ancient and storied game. (The Greeks, clever as they were, didn’t even possess a symbol or number for any number larger than ten to the fourth, a myriad.) This being so, it becomes comprehensible why, while chess has ebbed and flowed through history, it has never been successful as a method of channeling the human mind to that combat of a higher sort.

To be sure, there have been wars of every possible description since its inception some thirteen hundred years ago, and when the number of possible permutations is envisioned even in this relatively simple game, it becomes obvious why there is more than adequate room for that phenomenon, war, in the universal scheme of things. This nightmare, even when contained by a square of sixty-four smaller squares, has the potential to continue in a million billion varying guises for eons on end (and still there would remain variations untried).

When one of the first Caliphs, Omar b. Al-Khattab, was asked if chess were lawful he replied, “There is nothing wrong in it; it has to do with war.”

The Names of Chess Pieces in Some Seventy Languages



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Beijing Olympic Sponsors Medal Round Announced

 

Final GLM TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings: 

 

 

Lenovo Takes the Gold Pulling Away,

 

J&J Finishes Strong Edging McDonald’s,

 

Coca-Cola Leaps Over Rivals

 

 

Austin, Texas, USA.   August 29, 2008.   The final week of the GLM TrendTopper™ analysis of the performance of the Global Sponsors at the Beijing Olympics, Lenovo (OTC: LNVGY) takes the Gold pulling away from the pack, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:  JNJ) finishes strong edging McDonald’s (NYSE:  MCD) for the Silver, while Coca-Cola (NYSE: K), in a bold move leaps five spots to No. 4.

On the downside, Samsung (OTC: SSNFL) and Kodak (NYSE: K) each fell three spots to No. 6 and 7 respectively.

Over the last two weeks Lenovo has completed its remarkable climb from No. 10 to the Top Spot. The analysis was performed by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com), the internet and media tracking agency.  

 

Global Sponsors

 

Last

Change

Rank

     

1

Lenovo

1

0

2

J&J

5

3

3

McDonald’s

2

-1

4

Coca-Cola

9

5

5

Visa

6

1

6

Samsung

3

-3

7

Kodak

4

-3

8

Panasonic

7

-1

9

Omega

8

-1

10

GE

10

0

11

Atos Origin

11

0

12

Manulife

12

0

 

According to Paul JJ Payack, President, “In medal round of our competition, Lenovo performed a Phelpsian move pulling away from the crowd.  In fact its media awareness grew over 2100% since our baseline ‘snapshot’ on the last day of 2007.  The strength of the Johnson & Johnson brand was also remarkable at No. 2. McDonald’s brand equity was leveraged in clever and interesting ways, especially with their spectacular kick-off event. And, once again, Coca-Cola proved itself in the distance events, placing at or near the top for another Olympiad.”   

For more information, call 1.512.815.8836, email info@LanguageMonitor.com, or visit www.LanguageMonitor.com.



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