I don’t mean to fire another shot at the marketing community in the U.K., but…
What the heck are the marketers for the London 2012 Olympics committee smoking?
(we’re sorry. the video could not be re-posted here. If you would like to watch the TELEGRAPH.UK news coverage of the mascots, please go to The Brand Chef Blog to watch.)
Sorry about the auto play… (Notice the kids giving the Nazi salute to them? WTH?)
To have such a prestigious organization adorn your city would be an honor to last a lifetime. But it seems like the folks marketing for the occasion have taken the opportunity and turned it into a Duran Duran meets The TeleTubbies on LSD experience.
Let me back up about four years… If you haven’t read it yet, I did a blog post (June 2006) about the incredibly ill-conceived logo designed for the London 2012 Olympics. Saying:
“I’m saddened when I think of the world’s athletes that have put so much effort and time into achieving the honor of competing in the Olympics having to walk around the Olympic Village slathered with a logo that looks like they just got back from a Duran Duran concert.”
And now the marketers have launched a campaign to show off the new mascots. All I can say for them is at least they’re consistent.
Good Lord, They look like the love child of Timothy Leary and TinkyWinkie! I’m thinking the Aztecs saw this for 2012 and just decided to end it all there. What the heck would be the point of living after that?
Marketing in a Vacuum?
Normally, in these horribly off-the-mark situations, I’d point my finger at some self indulgent agency or myopic company trying to be “cutting edge” without the first hint of research or understanding of the target market. But according to The Telegraph UK, the chairman of the London Organizing Committee, Lord Coe and his marketing group spent 18 months and did over 40 focus groups in preparation and development of these atrocities!
40 FOCUS GROUPS?!?
What did they do, design them AND THEN hold focus groups until they found someone to say they liked them?
Here are a couple more images that come to mind when I see these mascots:
At least Vancouver 2010 Mascots related to the region and didn’t scare the hell out of people…
Also from The Telegraph UK:
Stephen Bayley, the prominent design critic, said: “What is it about these Games which seems to drive the organisers into this cretinous infantilism?
“Why can’t we have something that makes us sing with pride, instead of these appalling computerised Smurfs for the iPhone generation?”
“If the Games are going to be remembered by their art then we can declare them a calamitous failure already.”
I mean c’mon, if one of the biggest design critics in your country says they suck, shouldn’t you reflect on the direction you’ve taken?
So, what is the London 2012 Olympic committee to do? It’s too late to start over. It’s too ugly to ignore. Is this a public relations issue now? Can they make this all make sense somehow?
I’d love to know what you think. And for a little fun, here’s a little spoof from Gawker…
Keep Cooking! (at least tasteful branding decisions)
Andrew B. Clark
The Brand Chef