Gearing up for London 2012

Whatever you think of it, this symbol is one we’ll be seeing a great deal of in the coming weeks as London starts to gear up as host city of the 2012 Olympic Games in four years’ time.

When the 2012 logo was announced in June 2007, it attracted widespread criticism and dislike. I recall it being a topic of discussion from the PR and branding points of view in two episodes of the FIR podcast.

So today the Olympic mantle passed from Beijing to London, with the formal handover taking place during a spectacular closing ceremony. And it really was spectacular, the pinnacle of China’s investment in these 2008 games, reportedly some $40 billion overall. Serious money.

The ceremony included an excellent 10-minute segment about London. Metaphors abounded along with an iconic red London bus and commuters with umbrellas.

(Note that the links above to video on the BBC website can only be seen if you’re in the UK. Nothing I can do about that, sorry.)

The highlight undoubtedly was Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Leona Lewis with an updated version of the Zep’s classic track, Whole Lotta Love.

It was visually brilliant although the audio level and quality on TV were extremely disappointing, as if someone hasn’t plugged a cable in somewhere. What I heard was the audio from the stadium, ie, the sound wasn’t directly plugged in, so to speak, to the live television broadcast. What a pity.

I wondered on Twitter how long it would be before a video of Page and Lewis appeared on YouTube. Within minutes, I had the answer from Mitch Joel – from a TV viewer in Germany, it’s already there! (Aug 25: not unsurprisingly, perhaps, the video has now been taken down by YouTube citing copyright violation.)

So, Beijing concludes and the UK celebrates and prepares for the next Olympic games.

One good thing about the London 2012 logo is that you can do things with it. By that, I mean things like changing the colours perhaps to reflect something you prefer.

I think the one above is a ghastly colour scheme: the version you see at left – the logo that was projected in the stadium in Beijing during the formal handover – is far better.

But that’s just my view.

One thing I would expect the London 2012 organizers to do would be to make it easy to get hold of a copy of the logo. But do they? No.

I couldn’t find a logo file for download from the image library or anywhere else on the 2012 website. What’s at the top of this page is a screen capture from the 2012 home page using Snagit.

I hope they get their marketing hats on pretty quickly to keep up with momentum as I would imagine that lots of people will be talking and writing about the 2012 Olympics in the coming days and weeks, and would like to include a logo.

In any event, be prepared for seeing the London 2012 logo, in whatever form, sooner or later.

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