Hurdler clears Tower Bridge in leap for London Olympics

LONDON - London 2012 is selling the idea of bringing the Olympic Games to London as a huge leap forward for the capital and the nation at large in a striking new advertising campaign, which features a hurdler clearing Tower Bridge.

The campaign, created by M&C Saatchi, plays on London's eye-catching London landmarks and is designed to highlight the benefits a London-hosted Olympics and Paralympic Games will bring.

The campaign, which will run on posters, press, radio and leaflets, comprises two executions, with a female high jumper sailing across the top of the London Eye in addition to the hurdler clearing the iconic Tower Bridge. Both ads feature the headline "Leap for London".

The leap concept is at the heart of the campaign as it fights to win over hearts and minds for London's bid. The campaign will be promote the idea that winning the Olympics will represent a giant step forward in terms of jobs, regeneration and national pride and a boost for the future of British sport.

To turn these leaps into a reality, however, the bid will need to win the support of the entire nation, according to Keith Mills, Nectar founder and chief executive of London 2012.

"We need the help, support and enthusiasm of everyone in the UK. We need them to make a leap of faith, a leap of the imagination and a leap of inspiration. We need them to make a 'Leap for London'," Mills said.

"Visually we wanted to create something very dramatic because the size and scale of the Olympic Games demands something that takes your breath away," he added.

He said London 2012 also wanted to convey the compact, city-centre nature of the bid showing how the games would take place in the heart of the city.

"It is important to showcase the best London has to offer -- both old and new -- and, by using familiar images of London, show people that it really could happen."

M&C Saatchi along with The Ingram Partnership, which owns the planning agency Unity, was appointed to handle the campaign after a pitch against Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners with Naked Communications; Leo Burnett with Manning Gottlieb OMD; and WCRS with PHD. Mother is also thought to have pitched. The pitch was run by COI Communications.

The two were tasked with developing a communications idea that would work across media and audiences to galvanise support for the bid.

Media buying will be by the COI roster agencies Starcom MediaVest, MediaCom and OMD UK.

The river Thames is at the heart of London's bid to stage the 2012 Olympic Games after the course of the River Thames and colours of the world's continents were chosen in November as the inspirations behind London's bid logo.

The logo was designed to emphasise the geographical breadth of London's Olympics as well as the Thames' place at the hub of the capital's communities and cultural attractions. The logo was created by Clerkenwell agency Kino Design.

London is up against cities including New York, Paris and Madrid in the race to host the 2012 Games. It will learn the outcome of the contest in July 2005.

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