Arif Durrani: London 2012 is the only game in town

By Arif Durrani, brandrepublic.com, Friday, 27 July 2012 09:45AM

On your marks, get set... for the 30th Olympiad is upon us and for the next month the London 2012 Olympics really is the only game in town.

Arif Durrani: London 2012 is the only game in town

Arif Durrani: London 2012 is the only game in town

Once Danny Boyle’s £27 million opening ceremony is beamed to an anticipated one billion people around the world tonight, seven years of planning will have come to fruition and the business behind London’s £9.3 billion spectacle will make way for the sport.

Brand Republic’s media, marketing and advertising communities have been essential in making London 2012 happen, and will continue to play their part over the coming days. You can keep up to date with all the industry news, views and activity around the Olympics with our one-stop shop here.

Campaign is compiling many of the ads associated with the Games, panned by some for being too safe and formulaic, you can make up your own mind. One universally celebrated spot has been Channel 4’s evocative in-house offer 'Meet the superhumans’, which has whet appetites for the Paralympics from 29 August.

Sitting at a preview before its launch earlier this month a genuinely emotional sales director Jonathan Allan said, "it’s Channel 4 getting back to what Channel 4 does best. It gets to the heart of what we do and reminds us why the channel was created in the first place". Hard to argue with that.

The broadcaster will be showing over 150 hours of coverage with a diverse line-up of presenters in what promises to be Channel 4’s biggest broadcast in its 30 year history.

Another key element to London 2012 already known to be an outstanding success is the Olympic Torch Relay. Mapped out to ensure 95% of the UK population was within 10 miles of its journey, the moving carnival came courtesy of Lloyds TSB, Coca-Cola and Samsung.

While famously left-leaning media like The Spectator (?!) scoffed at the "man made monster that is 21st Century capitalism", in reality, and as our own video highlights, the 8,000 torch-bearers have captured the hearts and minds of communities since 19 May.

And it hasn’t been one way traffic, with brands already being rewarded for their multimillion pound investments with "tangible image and business benefits", according to research from Havas Sport & Entertainment. It supports the findings of PR Week’s own survey of 2,000 people that sponsors have significantly boosted their association with the Games compared with rivals.


There will be many autopsies on the legacy of the Games, including its true impact on British business, but now is not the time. London is the first city to host the Olympics three times, and is now housing more than 10,000 athletes from 204 countres.

Speaking at the Olympic Park in a regenerated east London yesterday, Prime Minister David Cameron called for the spirit of the Games to shine out from London. He said: "We want this to be the Games that lifts up a city, that lifts up our country and that lifts up our world, bringing people together."

Those of us living in the capital were robbed of the chance of truly celebrating when we were awarded the Games on 6 July 2005, having woken the next day under attack (7/7).

The next few weeks will be a triumph against political and economic adversity, and a defining moment in our lifetimes. Let's not underestimate its significance when Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, today announced: "This morning we had a meeting with Locog and I am pleased to say London is ready."

Follow me on Twitter: @DurraniMix

This article was first published on brandrepublic.com

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