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2012 Olympic Branding…

The whole Olympic 2012 restrictions on branding and advertising are so draconian and ridiculous that it’s difficult to take them seriously…

Badminton players (quite rightly) get expelled for not competing properly, but all other forms of competition are explicitly banned: money can only be got via Visa machines (which then don’t work) local traders have to change the names of their business to avoid prosecution, and chips can only be bought from you know who. I can’t work out if this is the power of advertising or simply the Power of the State…

There are two things recently that have caused me to stop and wonder at this convoluted state of affairs…

Firstly, the seemingly omnipresent Beats by Dre headphones on the heads of the swimmers in Zaha’s very excellent swimming pool… the only bit of non sponsored branding in the entire place… The justification apparently is that these “special” headphones are used to block sound out, so the swimmers are not getting their last fix of Metallica/Kylie/ Daft Punk, they are in deep concentration mode…

You have to give it to the Doctor.. breaking the rules with such elegance and simplicity by giving stuff away… genius

The second thing that has struck me is that something is missing… something that has become so ingrained in my visual conscious that it’s taken me a while to notice..

Where are the famous three stripes on the arms and legs of the Olympic Volunteers shiny Adidas clothes… It must be the first time that the company has made clothes without stripes… I’m surprised the sewing machines didn’t explode with the paradox…

I bet that was a difficult meeting: Yes you can make ten’s of thousands of uniforms and official sports kits but no, you can’t put your most distinctive feature on any of it.. Take a good look at the photo to the right, you will never see it’s like again (well, not for another four years anyway, unless Nike get their act together of course…)

And has anyone else noticed how much they look like Sainsburys uniforms without the stripes?… “Excuse me young man, can you tell me the way to the sports (section) please?”

Oh the irony…

  1. Meech
    August 6, 2012 at 19:15

    He he heee! You’re right about the similarity to Sainsbury’s! Well spotted Joe! I heard that Stella McCartney designed them all – so much for her originality as a designer!!! I also think that her ‘half a union jack’ design is rather lame and uninspired.

  2. Ric
    August 13, 2012 at 21:51


    And I thought the newspaper was just for artistic effect…

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