Monday, June 04, 2007

The vision at the heart of the brand

Branding is important, and the brand logo is the heuristic devise that symbolises all the qualities of the brand. And so it is with the London 2012 Olympics; Seb Coe unveiled their brand logo today saying "This is the vision at the very heart of our brand... "It will define the venues we build and the Games we hold and act as a reminder of our promise to use the Olympic spirit to inspire everyone and reach out to young people around the world... It is an invitation to take part and be involved". In support of this ethos, Tony Blair commented "When people see the new brand, we want them to be inspired to make a positive change in their life".

The BBC asked for comment, there are 1216 on my last visit and few are positive. There is also an e-petition [Online petition - Change The London 2012 Logo] calling for a change of logo; Jonathan Ellis' blurb reads "I feel it is an embarrassment and portrays our country in the worst possible way". There are already over 4,000 signatures. Given the cost, have they really got it so wrong and how? What is that people are so wound up over? It seems that brand logos mean a great deal to people but that the way in which they are invented, re-invented and launched acts as a call for criticism. I imagine that, had they been asked, Midland Bank (now HSBC) customers would not have recognised much symbolic value in their logo; now it is just accepted.

The bottom line though is the way that these logos are launched, where everyone is told what they represent. Semiotics tells us that decoding is personal not uniform or controlled. The second problem now is that anyone can offer comment in a very public way and seize the reading of a brand logo. Unless a miracle happens, this logo will permanently carry negative connotations as defined by these random public reactions which almost universally say, as one poster very simply put it, "it's cr@p".


Adam Abu Nab said...

Must say I had a laugh at the scripted Denise Lewis saying "it's not a logo or a stamp, it's a statement" without alluding to that actual supposed meaning.

Surely the basis to avoid such confusion and public reactions is to spell out the semantics behind it...unless I missed that in the radio cut!

Bri the Snail said...

Well its a misshapen 2 0 1 2 init; what does it mean, nothing at all. They claim a lot but its like any logo it only means what the organisation behind it means - 2012 means late finsih, lots of money etc etc

Judi Teen said...

my kids could do better

Adam Abu Nab said...

....more commonly referred to as the 'London Look'...!

It might be the way of the future that logos become more beloved Arsenal FC's being bastardised into a Warner Bros symbol.

Perhaps they should of enrolled Banksy to the job, afterall he is now Britain's greatest living artist!

Darren G. Lilleker said...

Good lord, no comments for days and then everyone appears.

I have read that this cost £400,000 why???

Saw the ITN News, one reading is that the logo is fragmented, perhaps that is the London look, but the comment was that the Olympics usually promote unity not fragmentation.

Not sure if it is the style of launch, or that more people comment online on issues such as this, or just that it is so bad that everyone is really annoyed by it; but for the first time in a long time everyone is talking about London 2012 but saying little that is positive.

Daz said...

I thought it was a very thought invoking design. So much so that it inspired me to create this animated gif version...

I hope you like it :)