British Airways
OK, BA, you're the official airline of London 2012 and have British identity written all over your brand. How are you going to hold the public's attention for minutes at a time for days filled with hundreds of events? With an ad featuring a race between pieces of luggage, you say? Listen, folks in the states love this kind of stuff. We race subway trains, sausages, pierogies and team mascots all in the name of entertaining sports fans. But we only do it between innings and most people are in what you know as "the loo" for much of that time. Your ad may run for a solid hour during the Olympic weeks and it's already tough to get folks to sit still long enough to see a beach volleyball game end. Your baggage race may the only thing viewers watch for less time than the modern pentathlon.

Sure, Samsung wants you to buy 3-D televisions too, but the electronics company has far bigger medals to chase during this year's games. Samsung is the Games' official "wireless communication equipment" sponsor, and its Galaxy line of phones and tablets is in a deathmatch with Apple and its products that a nasty legal battle between the companies hasn't helped. If David Beckham can help the cause by playing Ode To Joy with soccer balls and smartphone owners can get on board with Samsung's Olympic Genome Project app that finds ties between Facebook ( FB) users and Olympic athletes, Samsung's Olympic campaign could become its best weapon against its Cupertino-based competitors.

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