Steve Winter is president of Brotman|Winter|Fried, a Sage Communications Company. Reach him at

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

In a world where it’s easy to experience sensory overload multiple times a day just from our smartphones, it’s almost ironic to suggest that you add to it with your marketing programs. But you should.

Unlike Wendy’s, which goes on snark-offense on Twitter to defend its brand, many marketers find themselves surprised by negative brand attention. A crisis is different from a mild “media disruption,” like “an executive going publicly rogue in an embarrassing way,” says Ashley Deibert, marketing VP at iQ Media.

Americans seemingly don’t want to let go of Rio 2016. The emotional attachment’s been apparent through ad engagement and endless comments on social media about the Olympians, good and bad — as in, from Aly Raisman to Ryan Lochte. That’s why the top-performing ad, Hershey’s “Hello from Home” with gymnast Simone Biles, logically fits.

Speedo is used to being the butt of jokes; but on Monday, the brand made it clear to the world that what Olympian Ryan Lochte did was no laughing matter. Speedo USA cut ties with Lochte, who apologized about his false report to Brazilian police regarding being robbed at gunpoint. In truth, the drunk swimmer vandalized a gas station bathroom and got confronted by security guards.

Slotted in right behind the Super Bowl and akin to World Cup Soccer, the Olympic Games have perennially served as both a showcase and a coming-out party for companies seeking to gain target market exposure, brand awareness and product sales.

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