The Olympic Legacy?


Nailing down a tangible Olympic legacy is about as easy as stapling jelly to a javelin – with politicians, sports stars, charities and cultural commentators all disagreeing about the extent to which this summer’s Games have changed the character (and the waistlines) of our proud and podgy nation.

But although the full impact on our collective sporting consciousness is yet to be agreed, one distinct legacy might be starting to emerge – in the world of outdoor advertising.

Back in August, I wrote about how some of the major Olympic sponsors were making their (not inconsiderable) marketing heft count, by “dominating” entire outdoor spaces. Of course this “domination” is nothing new – but it was interesting to see that brands who’d spent big on Olympic sponsorship were also thinking big in out-of-home terms.

I spoke to Janet Guest at JCDecaux, who reminded me that during the games we also saw Heineken taking over all of the media space at Charing Cross and EDF doing something similar at Waterloo. If memory serves, McDonalds also took over Euston station with quite a striking set of ads.

Heineken @ Charing Cross

Heineken @ Charing Cross

But more recently we’ve seen Nivea take over Euston and EE (who I last wrote about here) spend some serious dollar at Victoria Station (both via JCDecaux). Check out the video here.

For brands that have enough muscle (and exciting enough products) total domination of a railway station or similar transport hub makes a pretty unequivocal statement about their ambition.

It’s a trend that seems to be accelerating since the summer – and I guess we’ll know by this time next year if it’s just a marketing flash in the pan, or a real Olympic legacy.



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