A Thoroughly Branded Olympics

So this is the logo for the 2012 London Olympics, launched today along with the London 2012 brand:

OK, I have to admit that I had to be told by the BBC that it’s actually a rendering of the number 2012. I just thought it was some abstract shapes, possibly representing athletes in various states of sporting endeavour. My bad.

My visual failings aside, the press release for the logo itself is a fascinating piece of brand-establishment. The logo is “…dynamic, modern and flexible reflecting a brand savvy world where people, especially young people, no longer relate to static logos but respond to a dynamic brand that works with new technology and across traditional and new media networks.” This, I think, is their way of saying that the logo is available in four different colours. How web 2.0 is that?

Particularly intriguing is the way in which London 2012 have made all the major political players insert the word “brand” into their approving statements:

Tony Blair“When people see the new brand, we want them to be inspired to make a positive change in their life.”

Tessa Jowell – “This is an iconic brand that sums up what London 2012 is all about – an inclusive, welcoming and diverse Games that involves the whole country.”

Ken Livingstone – “The new Olympic brand draws on what London has become – the world’s most forward looking and international city.”

Jacques Rogges (IOC Chair) - “This is a truly innovative brand logo that graphically captures the essence of the London 2012 Olympic Games”

Colin Moyhihan (BOC Chair) - “..the new London 2012 brand represents the passion, inspiration and achievement which encapsulate Britain’s Olympic Ambition.”

So, it’s a brand, for those of you who weren’t paying attention.

UPDATE 17.42pm: Some amusing alternative logos…

Dan O'Connor

Dan is responsible for translating social media research into the analytic and conceptual frameworks which underpin the team’s product and service development. He is particularly interested in how social media has changed the ways in which people exchange information within networks, and the impact that these changes have had on traditionally top-down information systems, such as those prevalent within the health, education and NGO sectors, where he leads RMM’s activities.

Dan’s focus upon health and education stems from his background in academia: He has a PhD in History and, as well as being Head of Research at RMM, he is a member of faculty at the Berman Institute of Bioethics at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA. He has published and lectured widely on the ethics of social media use within healthcare systems, and is involved in the application of social media in medical education at Johns Hopkins hospital.

Dan likes cooking, martinis, and irony. Frequently at the same time.

9 responses to “A Thoroughly Branded Olympics”

  1. Brand on the run « Usable Interfaces

    [...] Like Dan at RMM London, I had to look at this logo about 10 times before I spotted that it was supposed to spell out 2012. I think I may have, however, uncovered it’s true meaning. Close one eye and quint a bit and it looks like Paula Radcliffe in the famous marathon “toilet break” incident. Bigger head obviously. [...]

  2. Tom Hopkins

    Funny user-generated content bit by Andrew Orlowski http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/06/04/bbc_olympics_cx/

  3.   London 2012 Logo vs Lisa Simpson &gt RandomBuzz.net

    [...] Compelling isn’t it? Truly a unique logo (barf). It actually represents the number 2012, if you look closely. And no I didn’t figure it out by myself, I read it here. [...]

  4. Mat Morrison

    Nathan’s got a couple more examples of logo abuse over on his blog.

    Two points of information. Firstly, I’m not sure that a logo can accurately be described as a brand. Tony, Tessa, Ken, Colin take note. Well done Jacques.

    Secondly, you really should have pointed out that this is the first Olympic logo to offer a UGC opportunity.

    The BOC is offering us a chance to join in and create our own logos.

    Leading to this sort of thing..

  5. Mat Morrison

    And Tom, that’s just nasty. This is a respectable blog.

  6. Tom Hopkins

    It wasn’t me, it was the revolting users.

  7. Dan

    Mat: “I’m not sure a logo can accurately be described as a brand”

    Sebastian Coe: “It’s not a logo, it’s a brand that will take us forward for the next five years”

    I think you should fight him, Mat.

    Either way, having read all the utterly disatrous feedback on the logo/brand/gay swastika, I now feel free to say I think it’s awful.

  8. Henry

    That alternative logo made it as far as the airwaves:

    Gotta love the Audience 2.0 BBC :)

  9. Dan O'Connor

    My favourite response thus far has been Steve Cram’s Guardian Column” titled “A pointy little pink thing with a part to play for the Olympic Games” – which in the print edition is accompanied by a picture of Sebastian Coe…

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