In advance of Friday's meeting of the International Olympic Committee--generating outsize amounts of buzz for the Obamas' involvement in the pitch of their home city--the logos and selected videos from the four candidate cities: Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo.
Madrid: Rio de Janeiro: Tokyo:
Regardless of all the other ramifications of something as massive as the Olympics, I find their marketing completely fascinating. (Some earlier examples of my enthusiasm for this topic here and here.) It is, among so many other things, a gargantuan exercise in place branding, and a massive projection of local qualities--culture, geography, language--to a global audience. What are the graphics, sounds, colors, that convey a sense of place that is, at once, both specific and universal? Separate from logistics, architecture, and politics, how do you package, express, and demonstrate something as complex and ever-changing as a city of millions, in a supposedly homogenizing world? Even without the Olympics, what are these four world cities' brands?