Posts tagged ‘Olympics’
the BBC’s Clare Balding leaves Greenwich at the same time as the Games Makers (pic from her twitter)
There were literally hundreds of them just in Greenwich – directing us from the station, making sure we crossed the road safely, checking our tickets, telling us to be careful on the stairs and showing us to our seats. We could see more purple shirts moving the dressage boards every time a new rider came into the arena, looking after the assembled photographers and even scooping up after the horses answered an urgent call of nature.
They were ALL polite, helpful, enthusiastic, cheerful, funny – and themselves. From the lads gently taking the mic of the armed forces nearby and encouraging us to ‘hup two three four’ down the stairs to the ticket checkers telling us what great seats we had, individual personalities were shining through. I was told to “have a great day” dozens of times, but on every occasion it felt different and like the Games Maker actually meant it.
Don’t forget that these are all volunteers, who had given up their time not only to be there for their shifts but also for training. And what training it must have been. McDonalds are supposed to have been instrumental in helping deliver the training but to be honest, I’ve never met a McDonalds employee as good as the Games Makers at Greenwich. My friend Shehnaz (who doesn’t work for McDonalds) has been involved in delivering Games Maker training as well as being a Games Maker herself, so I’m hoping she’ll do a guest post for us sharing how they approached getting 70,000 people up to speed. Watch this space.
Incidentally, pretty much all of the above could also be said for everyone from the Army and Navy who were handling security at Greenwich and were also all lovely. It’s certainly the first time I’ve had the Navy merrily wish me good morning :)
The Olympic Marketing Police can do all they like about cracking down on use of Olympic messaging or brand icons by non-sponsors (their ‘statutory marketing rights’ document is 61 pages long), but brands who aren’t on the official roster are still going to be associated with London 2012 by the Great British Public.
As early as January this year non-sponsor Nike was the sports brand most associated with the event (I guess the assumption being that as the biggest and shoutiest sports brand surely they’d have got involved) and as of early May, over the pond ‘non-affiliated marketers’ took 27 of the top 50 spots measuring effective brand activation.
As consumers of marketing messages, we just aren’t wired to carefully shift through looking for official logos and Olympic endorsed endlines. We connect with the campaigns that talk about national pride, and celebrating great endeavours, i.e. what the Olympics are all about.
Everyone is saying nice things at the moment about P&G’s ‘Proud Sponsor of Mums’ official Olympic campaign, but I’m not sure that come flag waving time what we must now refer to as a ‘John Lewis approach’ is going to cut through. I think the winners are going to be brands that talk about pride and celebration – and handily, no-one has slapped a ban on gratuitous use of union jacks yet (so long as they’re not held by an athlete).
In contrast, the Diamond Jubilee logo can be downloaded free off the royal website (complete with brand guidelines) and it seems that so long as you don’t put it on a teapot without asking nicely first or imply HMQ’s direct endorsement then at least individuals and non-profits can do what they like with it. Top marks, ma’am.
I did a project a few months back for a UK retailer looking at all the events planned for Summer 2012 and assessing the likely impact. Without giving away all the insight the client paid for, it’s a little bit worrying.
For a start, it’s going to be a long-haul Summer. From the Diamond Jubilee Pageant at Windsor Castle starting on 10th May until the Paralympic closing ceremony on 9th September, there is Something Big Happening almost continually. The major events are obviously the Jubilee, Olympics & Euro 2012, but there’s also Wimbledon, big music festivals and so on. I really think there’s going to be a bit of Celebration fatigue kicking in at some point.
On the upside, it seems logical that there will be an uplift in National pride – and you can already see brands like M&S taking advantage of this.
But one of the downsides is that I’ve ploughed my way through all the briefing documents and I can only conclude that London is effectively going to come to a standstill in late July and the first half of August. If you’re planning any kind of activity in the London area that requires a vehicle to be in a certain place at a certain time around then, I’d reschedule it now.
So the London 2012 Olympic mascots were unveiled yesterday to, it has to be said, a less than entirely enthusiastic worldwide reception.
My personal issue is that (at least in their current form) Wenlock and Mandeville feel very generic, like they could be representing any one of the recent Beijing, Athens, Sydney or Atlanta Olympics. They just aren’t very…British, despite the whole London-taxi-light-on-their-heads thing.
Although perhaps a tad OTT, the Union Jack makeovers that have appeared on the London 2012 website today are a bit of an improvement:
update 13/02/2012 - it looks like LOCOG are making a big thing out of customising your own Wenlock and Mandeville and interacting with them (they even have an official song…). But on the upside, this is a sweet little animation.
Part one: Daryl Goodrich, director of the ‘Sport at Heart’ and ‘Inspiration‘ films that were instrumental in helping London to win the 2012 Olympics talked us through both films, complete with storyboards, anecdotes and the tale of his own pitch process to get the films into production. He’s a brilliant, relaxed presenter that had the room hooked. The subject matter was pretty fascinating too – and a great accompaniment to Jon Steel’s own take on the run up to the final pitch in his book ‘Perfect Pitch’.
Part two: Martin Havenhand, Executive Chair of the Yorkshire Committee for the 2012 Games talked about ‘why Yorkshire must get behind the games’ – otherwise known as Death By Bureaucrat and Powerpoint or I Can’t Believe I’m Missing Studio 60 For This.
The difference between the two presenters couldn’t have been greater. Its such a shame that an inspiring, uplifting topic like the Olympic games (the Sport at Heart film had me all damp eyed and moved) translated to a lengthy, dull, message-free lecture.
I’m not going all-out to get the guy, he’s obviously very dedicated to his role, but shouldn’t ‘be really good at inspiring presentations’ have been part of the job description? And if not, someone needs to tell the self confessed ‘advocate and practitioner of life long learning’ that he needs some help. It just didn’t make me proud to be a Yorkshire lass in the run-up the the Games.