so what if we don’t like the mascots in adland? June 11, 2010Posted by nicholas gill in brand, brand experience, Olympics.
Recently at DCH, we were asked to comment on the new London Olympic 2012 mascots. My summation made it into the article but thought it worthwhile sharing our fuller thoughts on the brand issue raised.
The classic approach to a brand is to comprise identity, performance and behaviour. In these social times, reputation is now an intrinsic part of the brand dynamic. And at the core of a brand should be two things: compelling and true. Without this, a brand is just bland. What isn’t there is “must appeal to every man and his dog” because as we all know, design by committee designs to the lowest common denominator.
Yes, the 2012 Olympic logo was quite offensive, especially in the day glow colours but we’ve all grown used to it a few years on. Olympics, much like World Cups, are not exactly renowned for having logos or mascots that stand the test of time. But they’re not meant to. They have a finite life span so they have to hit the sweet spot of being current now and in 2-5 years. No mean feat when you consider that most futurologists believe can’t predict anything beyond 3 years out.
So poor old Wenlock and Mandeville were always going to divide; especially because it’s a GB Olympics so in essence, we all “own” it. I quite like the one-eyed little sportsters because they’re different; they have a bit of Sonic the Hedgehog and a smattering of the Vauxhall C’Mons. They are compelling and true to the Games. They may have upset people in ad land but who cares? And let’s be honest, why are we getting ourselves in such a state about two mascots. They won’t stop us winning medals at the Games, that’s down to athletes, coaches, infrastructure, training facilities, investment and raw passion and talent.