Kevin Brown writes:
Isn’t it pathetic that every time I see any mention of the Olympics I now think, “I wonder if that’s official.”
I received an email this week inviting me to an Olympic Breakfast, and my first thought was, “I bet they don’t have LOCOG permission for THAT!”
Like a whining, schoolboy grass, I had caught someone out. I could dob them in. But I didn’t because that would make me a complete arse.
The acres of column inches bemoaning the corporate takeover of the Olympics are laughable. We’re in advertising. Get over it. What does amuse me is the schoolyard politics of policing it all.
The snivelling approach to brand protection is laughable when your brand is defined by the people who share it, disseminate it and champion it directly or indirectly in social channels.
Tell people that they can’t and shouldn’t, and they will. Come across like a petulant tell-tale and you promptly undo all the supposed edge you’ve spent years cultivating. As a consequence, anyone on the outside of the official Olympic corporate sponsorship circle ends up looking like a bleedin’ maverick.
From Oddbins’ discount promotion – wear Nikes in store for bargain booze – to Paddy Power’s ‘London, France’ billboard. This lot look like gangsters compared with the safe ‘school prefect’ stance of the official sponsors.
Sobering stats in Campaign yesterday suggested very few people can recall an official Olympic sponsor. Not surprising. However, I do know Nike is advertising heavily in Piccadilly Circus Tube. They’re not an official sponsor. But the thousands of tourists coming through there every day are none the wiser. It’s all about sport. And one thing people love this summer is bloody sport.
In the US, an online knitting community, Ravelry, was served a ‘cease and desist’ order by the US Olympic Committee for daring to plan a Knitting Olympics during 2012. Events such as speed knitting had been slated but they were told to remove all Olympic references from their planned event as it supposedly cheapened the Olympic brand and was an insult to the hard work of competitive athletes.
The heartening outcome of this was that YOU DO NOT MESS WITH THE KNITTING COMMUNITY.
The site’s followers promptly bombarded the committee’s Facebook page and took to social media with aplomb to publicise this frankly ludicrous takedown of these revolutionary knitters.
Wonderfully, the USOC ended up issuing this statement: “We would again like to apologize to the members of the Ravelry community. While we stand by our obligation to protect the marks and terms associated with the Olympic and Paralympic Movements in the United States, we sincerely regret the use of insensitive terms in relation to the actions of a group that was clearly not intending to denigrate or disrespect the Olympic Movement. We hope you’ll accept this apology and continue to support the Olympic Games.”
As I said, YOU DO NOT TAKE ON THE KNITTING COMMUNITY. YOU JUST DON’T.
Judging by the mood in London today, no-one’s even bothered about all this fuss and nonsense. From today, it’s all about the medals. And rightly so.
In the meantime, I’m off to Oddbins for a cheap bottle of plonk in my Air Jordans.