diamond geezer

 Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Everyone's 2012TM

Hi Seb. We're Wolff Olins, and we're global brand marketing experts. Thanks for asking us to create the official brand experience for the London 2012 Olympics. Would you like to see what we've done with the £400,000 you gave us? We've come up with a striking brand emblem which we know the youth of Britain are going to take to their hearts. We know, because a focus group told us.

What do you think?
London 2012

Great, isn't it? It ought to be - it's taken us a year to develop. It embraces aspirational vision. It embodies our four key brand pillars. It will form the nucleus of an all-inclusive marketing campaign. It really speaks to the nation. Because you can't get more cutting edge than jaggedy shapes with yellow edging, eh?

See what we've done? We've taken the key elements of the 2012 London Olympic Games and transformed them into a global brand identity.

First there's the year itself - 2012. Our logo is nothing but a giant 2012, digit by digit. Clever, huh? That's worth most of the £400,000 all by itself. Plus the compact squarish shape fits perfectly on a mobile phone as wallpaper, which is absolutely essential if we're going to get the nation's obese 12 year olds to take up archery or whatever.

Then there's the host city - London. Our Risk Assessment Team advised against using a recognisable landmark like Big Ben or the London Eye, just in case evil terrorists might blow it up at some point during the next five years. Always play safe, they urged. So we thought we'd just write the word "London" across one of the digits, but without using capital letters. How cool are we?

Next there's the Olympics themselves. The five Olympic rings are one of the most lucrative brand assets on Earth. So we've shoved them in the middle of the zero and sucked all the colour out of them. You'll like this, Seb. We're producing four different versions of the logo in four diverse fluorescent shades, and we haven't used a single one of the official Olympic colours. No really, lime and pink are very 'in' this year.

And finally there's the raison d'être of the event - the Games. We're talking sport, we're talking competition, we're talking physical excellence. Sorry, we've completely ignored that part. It didn't fit in with the image we wanted to project, so the sporting angle got binned. Nobody'll notice.

Don't worry, we've checked that the final logo passes all known quality thresholds. Kevin's Mum liked it when we showed it to her, and Steve's cousin Mandy thought it looked "well smart". There's absolutely no danger of anyone thinking it looks like cartoon characters having sex. Well we hadn't noticed anyway. Everyone'll love it, guaranteed, or your money back.

We'll admit that the new logo doesn't look its best in two dimensions. It's much more exciting, more dynamic, when you see the animated image instead. The brand will look great as a video loop on the telly, and fantastic as a flickering jpg on your MySpace page. It's just a pity that you'll have to use the static version in "old media" environments such as newspapers and advertising leaflets, and on all those baseball caps and mugs and mousemats you're hoping to flog. But never fear - everyone'll judge you on the thrilling 3D image, not the flat version.

And we've got one final visual trick up our sleeve. The logo won't always look like this - it's going to evolve over the next five years. That big pink splodge, that's really a head. The top left zigzag is an arm, that mysterious floating rectangle is part of an athlete's torso, and those lower shapes are both legs. Obviously we're not planning on telling anybody this yet, but all will become clear when we reveal later digital versions of the logo. Meanwhile the green version's going to morph into a cyclist, the orange version into a swimmer and the blue version into a wheelchair athlete. I'm sure people won't mind waiting a few years for the clever bit. Everyone will be so impressed.

So that's the inspirational brand identity we've developed for you. It's bold, it's modern and it's different. It's a cultural accessory which promotes a genuine lifestyle upgrade. More than that, it's undeniably memorable. One thing I can assure you Seb, everyone'll be talking about it tomorrow, just you wait and see.


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