Athletes from all around the world are in London for the 2012 Olympics, but they won’t be the only ones competing. As a program watched by millions across the globe, the Olympics are an opportunity to achieve marketing success with one of the biggest audiences possible. However, the opportunities to market during Olympics 2012 are bigger and better than ever before thanks to social media. Now being titled the “Socialympics,” this year’s games will not only show us the best athletic talent in the world, but also a fleet of innovative new marketing techniques from major global companies. Let the games begin!

Though the torch has yet to be lit, companies have already started their marketing competition. So, what company has struck gold?

Procter & Gamble’s “Thank you, Mom” campaign has become a worldwide sensation and is one of, if not THE, campaign earning the most recognition this Olympic season. “Thank you, Mom” embodies social media and the heart of the Olympic Games to create a moving story that connects fans and athletes from around the globe.

Procter  & Gamble understood the unifying significance of the Olympic Games and embraced that notion by creating a campaign centered on something everyone, everywhere has in common: Mom (or should we say, “Mum”).

The campaign asks everyone, athletes included, to simply thank their Mum. Videos showing athletes thanking their moms and telling personal, childhood stories have become incredibly popular, as well as the commercial P & G created showing the role mom’s play in raising Olympic athletes.  As people around the world become inspired by these videos, many have taken to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to thank their “Mum” as well.

Procter & Gamble’s “Thank you, Mom: campaign has gone beyond marketing to become an online community..and even a movement. The ability of P & G to create an inspiring campaign that so adequately understands social media and Olympic fans will be a model for other campaigns this Olympic Games and beyond.