London 2012: 'the greatest tickets on earth' campaign
London 2012: 'the greatest tickets on earth' campaign
A view from Simon S Kershaw

CREATIVE STRATEGY: When will the Olympics campaign get off the blocks?

As creatives, it's our prerogative to complain about the size of the logo as requested by the client. So goes the cliché, anyway.

Then along came the London 2012 Olympics and all that was trumped. No matter how small you make it, their logo has to be the most hideous piece of design in recent years. Well done people.

To accompany this fugly graphic is a distinctively clumsy typeface. All in all, one’s heart goes out to the creatives on the "now get your tickets for 2012" brief.

This should be a dream opportunity. After all, the modern Olympic Games is billed as "the greatest show on earth".  We all know that any such tag belongs to the football World Cup but let’s reserve judgement and allow the Olympics their hyperbolic claim.

So, gentle reader, have you ordered your tickets for any of the events? Among my friends, some are already sure of seeing the Olympic sport that interests them most.

And isn’t that the point? Shouldn’t this brief be about targeting? Did I miss the hand-raising campaign to pre-register one’s interest in, say, women’s boxing? Obviously, I did.

Whatever. Instead of a subtle, multimedia, direct marketing campaign, we now have acres of banners, press ads and posters plastered online, on bus sides and across London, employing an idea that manages to make both the 2012 venues and the events look quite dull.

So for example, in one poster we have an anonymous footballer in mid-flight juxtaposed against the Wembley arch. This fails on several levels. First, it seems to suggest that the venue is of equal importance to the event it is hosting. No, it’s not.  Second, it seems to think that sports fans love watching any old team at the Olympics. Hardly. Finally, the campaign presumes the popularity of some Olympic sports over others, a self-fulfilling strategy if ever there was one.

One has to believe that better work than this was presented to the client.  Work that bursts with the excitement for the jamboree, the commitment of the athletes and the passion of the spectators. Maybe that campaign is still to come and the current work is just a practice lap. Here’s hoping.  

Simon S Kershaw is a creative consultant and a former creative director at Craik Jones.