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The thought of summer is usually enough to get people in a frenzy; day-dreaming about the beach they wish they were on, the BBQs and the Pimms they would enjoy.

But throw in the biggest sporting event of the summer too, hosted by the carnival capital of the world, and you have a perfect opening to get creative in the inbox – as I did for this blog’s title!

With the games now over, I’ve had a look for my favourite Rio-related emails, showcasing how brands took advantage of ‘the greatest show on earth’.

Celebrating home success

What better way to celebrate the end of the games than by matching your discount to the number of golds won by the home team?

PetsPyjamas did just that, asking customers to join them in celebrating the huge success Great Britain & Northern Ireland had in Rio by taking advantage of their 27% sale.


This was clever, because their product range doesn’t fit in with Rio, sport or the games specifically – which is notable for all my top picks! Instead, they utilised the pride that the country felt for its athletes, suggesting the best way to celebrate was to shop with them. And nothing says success like a well found sale item!

Being proud of your products

Fortnum & Mason used this chance to dabble in some word play, highlighting that the only colour that matters is their signature Eau de Nil.

The Eau-lympic Games show that Fortnum & Mason aren’t scared to put their prestige in contrast to the games themselves. Putting their products on a podium and inviting me to browse their ‘medal-winning’ selection of products further adds to the association of excellence and luxury.

fortnum and mason

This is an excellent email because Fortnum & Mason manage to portray their strong sense of brand, the summer games and British past-time of summer picnics (with their bold red call to action to ‘Shop Hampers’) in one succinct picture.

Prepared and ready for some fun

Cafepod were ahead of the rest this year, emailing to prepare me for the potential savings I could make when their Single Origin coffees went head-to-head in the medal table.

Stocking coffee from four different countries competing in Rio, Cafepod decided to have some fun and tied their discount to how successful each countries’ athletes were – with 10p off for every medal won.

By getting me excited before the games, rather than during the event like many others, Cafepod’s campaign stood out in my inbox. Proving that preparation to succeed isn’t just restricted for athletes!

At the end of the event, they sent the coffee competition results campaign, letting me know how well each country had done and so how much money I’d save. I felt sorry for Guatemala though, on 0 medals, because they do excellent coffee!

cafepod olympics results

Knowing your market

I loved Miss Selfridge’s email because it wasn’t about the games at all. Knowing, like PetsPyjamas, that their product line isn’t suited to sport they decided instead to “get ready for Rio”.

With copy like “got serious Rio fever, embracing all things carnival, tropical and laid-back sexy Brazilian styling”, the email shared summery and floral products. This section is particularly clever with its split copy, which draws the eye down through the whole email.

miss selfridge

My favourite bit however was their subtle use of the Brazilian flag in the hero GIF, replacing the blue disc of the sky with ever increasing flora. It provided some extra continuity to both the summer prints and their tropical mood!

You can’t go wrong with puns and food

Zizzi didn’t waste much time with the sporting fever as they know that their food is what sells them best.

With the brilliant subject line “Ready. Set meal. Go” they had tapped into the trend without jumping on the bandwagon. In the actual campaign, Zizzi caught my eye with imagery of a very tasty dish and two bold calls to action, prompting me to take advantage of the offer straight away.


Their minimal copy does make reference to the “Olympics”, but it focuses on treating yourself and understanding that there is a world outside the ‘greatest show on earth’. So what Zizzi manage to do is appeal to both sport enthusiasts and those who just want a nice, quality summer meal – without too much effort at all.