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CREATIVE STRATEGY: Olympics? On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia

At a recent D&AD event, I met an ECD who lives in East London. Wisely, she has taken the opportunity of the Olympics jamboree to rent out her house and bugger off on an exotic holiday. Lucky lady.

Olympic Games: Underground ads warn of travel congestion ahead

Olympic Games: Underground ads warn of travel congestion ahead

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For those us who'll be living and working in London under the five rings, the prospects are much less pleasant.

Summer in the capital is already bad enough, as you elbow your way through hordes of loud, stationary, Spanish teenagers cluttering up the public transport system. (I am joking about the elbow, of course. An Uzi would be a much better option.)

Enough of the grumpy old man act. Let's see how Locog has addressed this literally pressing issue. 

Currently, the Underground is wallpapered with a series of ads whose apparent purpose is to prepare us for the utter chaos better known as a global sporting event.

In essence, the message is go to the website and hope that your journey won’t be affected. If it is, well, maybe there are ways around it. Maybe. 

Other strategies from Locog have veered between the patronising and the risible. In the former camp, Locog has urged people to change their journey time, method of transport, or just work at home.

Ha! If only the teeming millions had those luxuries. Still, said the authorities, rather than join the crush on the way home, why not go for a couple of pints first? At least the hospitality industry will make something out of this wheeze. 

Creatively, the ads are strangely honest. Horse riders on escalators and rowing teams in Tube carriages conjure up just the nightmare we’re all dreading. And the jaunty if over-familiar style of illustration does nothing to take the edge off. 

No doubt Lord Coe has an answer to all this. He always does. Maybe as such a massive proportion of the tickets have gone to corporate sponsors, the crowds won’t be bad as predicted.

Simon S Kershaw is a creative consultant and a former creative director at Craik Jones

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