The planning and preparation for BT’s London Live campaign began in 2005, when it was first announced that London would host the 2012 Summer Olympics. Now seven years later, the Games are fully underway and BT is making its presence known as one of the most active and visible London 2012 Olympic Partners.
To activate their campaign, BT has established three outdoor viewing arenas in hot-spots around London, including Hyde Park, Trafalgar Square, and the East End’s Victoria Park. At each site, BT has installed a number of state-of-the-art screens with concert quality sound systems, providing live coverage of Olympic events. These festival-like venues also feature live entertainment, Have-a-Go Sports centres, children’s activity zones, carnival rides, sponsorship pavilions, beer gardens, and a wide selection of affordably-priced food stalls.
Where BT London Live excels is in the functionality of the campaign’s delivery. All and all, the sites are very user friendly – they’re easy to get to, free to enter, and offer an excellent range of activities for all ages. Once inside, visitors are met by helpful officials and a casual, laid-back atmosphere. By working together with a spectrum of local businesses, site partners, Olympic Sponsors, and city councils, BT has achieved a nice blend of community presence amongst the corporate advertisements.
When it comes to the branding of BT London Live, however, I’m afraid the campaign falls a bit short. Most of the design elements, such as the graphic hexagons featured behind the logo for example, appear clunky, disruptive and muddled. To me, this simply reflects a larger problem at play with BT’s overall branding strategy, in which a clear brand identity is altogether lacking. While the logo for BT Group does speak to the multi-national scale of the company, it says nothing about the telecommunications nature of their business. Thus, when it comes to extending BT’s brand identity for special campaigns such as BT London Live or Bringing us all Together for London 2012, we see a real lack of cohesion. While BT London Live is playful and lively, Bringing us all Together… is serious and dark. The former uses the bright colours of the central logo’s globe, whereas the latter references the logo’s dark blue lettering. In effect, this seems to be a real missed opportunity for BT to achieve some high-scale brand recognition.
So, does BT come out on top or fall flat at London 2012? Well, the answer to that depends on where you stand. From a spectator’s point of view, BT is making the Games more accessible and more enjoyable for thousands of Games fans. From a branding point of view, they definitely could have used the platform differently to take the company further. In either case, BT has provided great coverage of London 2012 which is, after all, what they do best.
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