Product placement at London 2012 opening ceremony

As we heard the news that British movie director Danny Boyle would be responsible for London 2012’s opening ceremony, we expected that his screenplay would include some elements of modern culture, rather than scenes from a distant past. We were right, Boyle’s ceremony involved smart phones, helicopters, parachutes, cars, all genres of popular music …

Let’s check some brands that were visible and recognizable (or not) from the opening ceremony.

Samsung smart phone

When London Symphony Orchestra played Chariots of Fire actor Rowan Atkinson appeared as Mr Bean. He played a keyboard and then took a phone from his pocket. It’s clear that it was a Samsung model. Yes, Samsung is one of the so-called Worldwide Olympic Partners and those companies paid an insane amount of money to be involved with the Olympics.

Samsung smart phone at London 2012 opening ceremony (2012, screen capture from RTVSLO)

Mini

During the show a Mini Hatch drove to the stage. It wasn’t forced placement, but any car that would appear on the stage would be seen as product placement. Thankfully, it is owned by BMW, one of the London 2012 Olympic Partners (companies that paid a bit less money than Olympic partners).

Mini at London 2012 opening ceremony (2012, screen capture from RTVSLO)

Fashion

Fashion was very important aspect even before the star of the games. The first controversy came from the US. Ralph Lauren designed suits for the US team, but apparently they were made in China. Huh.

Nevertheless, the American team was one of the better looking teams at the opening ceremony.

Kobe Bryant, dressed in Ralph Lauren at London 2012 opening ceremony (2012, screen capture from RTVSLO)


The Italian team was dressed by Giorgio Armani. Their kit came with a twist: the Italian master included the full lyrics of the national anthem on the inside of the opening ceremony jacket and on the official team sweatshirt. Also, all athletes received an Armani suitcase filled with 50 pieces of the dark blue and white line. Great move by Armani and the Italian Olympic Committee.

Italian team dressed in Armani at London 2012 opening ceremony (2012, screen capture from RTVSLO)


The third team with the designer’s clothes were Great Britain. Their white & gold Olympic kits were designed by Stella McCartney.

The GB team dressed in Next at London 2012 opening ceremony (2012, screen capture from RTVSLO)


EDIT (29. 7. 2012)

One of my readers notified me, that I’ve made a mistake: actually Stella McCartney designed Team GB’s performance kit and not white and gold tracksuits that athletes wore in the stadium. Clothing chain Next was responsible for that outfit.

There are however two mysteries regarding fashion at the opening ceremony.

1. Who designed David Beckham’s suit?

2. Who was responsible for James Bond’s suit?

For the upcoming Bond movie Skyfall Daniel Craig’s team teamed up with Tom Ford. Was that ambush marketing by Tom Ford at the opening ceremony?

David Beckham at London 2012 opening ceremony (2012, screen capture from RTVSLO)


Daniel Craig as James Bond at London 2012 opening ceremony (2012, screen capture from RTVSLO)


Nevertheless, the opening ceremony was great and for me the most amusing moment was seeing a clip from Trainspotting. Danny Boyle showed a piece from his own movie in front of more than one billion viewers. Brilliant.


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One comment

  1. czech kits were the best, it is really smart to wear rubber boots and umbrellas, especially if there is no rain:)