Is 2012 the official date for the end of the world? It would seem that way. I was tempted again to title this post: it's not about the logo. As the one designed for the Olympic Games in London has ruffled quite a few feathers.
Cam Beck has a nice take on marketing largesse at ChaosScenario. Invest your money on training world class athletes instead of paying $800,000 for a logo, he says.
I think we can all agree on one thing this logo accomplished: it's making people talk. Talk is good, it can polarize *and* it can change lives. You know what happens when I start off an encounter with someone or something on opposites ends? It's like in the movies; we end up loving each other -- even when we disagree respectfully.
So the point of this post is not to agree or disagree with the end result. I like it. As I said at David Armano's Logic + Emotion (there's a great discussion there, you should check it out), to me it works. Here are the two main messages it communicates:
- 2012 -- I see it right away. At first I thought it was because I grew up on puzzles and 'find what's missing in this picture' games. Now that I've had a few moments to ponder the comments around the blogosphere, I see that most of those who state they don't see the number are males. A few even said that their wives saw it immediately, like I did. In my experience, females tend to be better at recognizing patterns.
- Origami -- the concept, as in creativity, imagination, pieces that fit together, team spirit, and people. The jagged image does look like a person. "The new emblem is dynamic, modern and flexible. It will work with new technology and across traditional and new media networks," says the design brief. Maybe this is what they meant.
One thing is for sure, the logo launch has created one heck of a public relations and marketing campaign for the 2012 Olympics. Is the coverage worth $800,000? Maybe so. It got citizens talking, globally. Isn't that what the spirit of the games should be?
[We interrupted Part Deux of my interview with Alice Dommert for this discussion on branding. Exhibiting interested marketing behavior.]
UPDATE: The International Herald Tribune -- in one respect, the London 2012 logo was a big success: The logo introduction was a textbook example of marketing in the Web 2.0 era, when gold medals are handed out for achieving maximum brand-building buzz at a minimum cost.