The Olympics has got a lot of people talking, and there is undoubtedly a buzz in the air as we edge closer to the starting line. However, we can be under no delusion that all the ‘buzz’ is positive. As someone who was once excited about the games, I am the first to admit that any enthusiasm has since been replaced with trepidation.
By in large this can be held accountable to the fact that for months now somewhat ‘humorous’ posters have been appearing both on the trains themselves and in stations, courtesy of TFL. These posters not only urge people to start thinking and to be aware of the games, but they almost openly admit defeat before the games even begin – hinting at long delays, station closures and general disruption everywhere. Anyone who can see past the somewhat amusing characters and scenarios, will realise that whatever precautions they take, lives are going to be just that little bit (or potentially a lot) more chaotic than usual.
This fear seems to be resonating in businesses and commuters alike, as it will not only be taking staff longer to get in, causing stress and a lack of free time, it will also mean clients will be less willing to travel, and flights and train costs are likely to soar. If businesses do not run as effectively, theoretically numerous organisations could suffer. But should this be our focus? And what is the alternative?
Rather than offering positive messages and inspiring confidence in their service, they are basing their communication on fear. What do you think – is TFL dampening people’s spirits?
Coincidently I believe another underground campaign has fared a lot better. P&G’s ‘Capital Cleanup’ series encourages everyone in the community to get involved in the big city tidy, and boasts a far more successful tone and message. They have angled their communication towards relatable issues of the ‘everyman’, for example comparing our overseas visitors to your mum coming round to the flat. They attempt to persuade people to share the responsibility of putting forward a respectable, clean London. Making London’s ‘brand’ everyone’s issue, and encouraging a sense of community – a much more in keeping message with the positive aspect of the Olympics, as it is a time to be patriotic and cheer on the nation.
As far as TFL are concerned it seems that we are being asked to survive the Olympics (both professionally, and as human beings) by embracing our true Britishness – work harder, welcome queues, keep the stiff upper lip, and be hospitable on every possible occasion…but whether their brand will suffer or flourish it is yet to be seen.
Alternatively if we embrace the P&G message, it is a time to club together, and despite the possible disruption, enjoy the event and be proud of our city – I may personally be sceptical, but I think the sentiment of their campaign is far more appropriate for the celebratory occasion it promises to be.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, 12 Jun 2012 at 11:14 am and is filed under Branding, Community, Customer Experience, Events, Service, Strategy.
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