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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Rating the Olympic bid videos

Olympics logoSo, London won the right to host the 2012 Olympic Games. I seriously thought Paris would win.

I watched the announcement over dinner where they showed the videos that each city used for its bid. If I were to choose the winner based on their videos, this is how I'd rate the cities, from least likely to most likely winner.

(I wish I could show the videos, but none of the web sites for the cities has them, except Paris, but to keep it fair, I won't link to it.)

5. Moscow
The first half of the video shows various cities that have hosted the Olympic Games, and with each city is the phrase "Thank You" in its native language. This goes on and on, and you're starting to get the real message. And then the message is hammered home with a scene of Moscow and the phrase "Fair Play".

You want to host the Olympic Games only because other cities have hosted it and you haven't, and it's only fair that you should? You sound like a tantrum-throwing teenager asking for the world plus interest!

You're out!

4. Madrid
Within the first five seconds, you have Antonio Banderas endorsing the city. And then other Spanish celebrities endorse it. Then you pull at the emotional heartstrings with a cute Spanish girl endorsing it.

So the message is that Madrid should host because everyone who's anyone says it should host it. This kind of marketing/selling is all the more reason why I wouldn't want you to host it.


3. New York City
As an aspiring filmmaker, I really liked this video. It was gritty, realistic, and touching.

As a consumer, though, it didn't work for me. The entire video was done in drab grey and resembled too much like CSI:NY, which I think is already the drabbiest (is there such a word?) in the CSI franchise. It even had the flying shot looking down on the city's buildings, which CSI:NY always uses!

So the video made me feel gloomy. However, the Olympics are supposed to be happy-happy-joy-joy! Maybe the city wanted to get across that though it had suffered a catastrophe in 9/11, it was resilient and would still be able to pull itself together to host a major global event like the Olympics.

But overall, the video was just too dark for me and made me feel wary of the city. Thumbs down.

2. Paris
This was the first video shown in the series and I really, really enjoyed it. But you'll have to read my review of the London video to see why I picked it as the winner.

As I said before, the Olympics are about happy-happy-joy-joy and this video really showed it. People were smiling, laughing, painting their faces, going all out with colours and acrobatics and all. It gave the carnival-like atmosphere that (I think) the Olympic Games possess. Most of all, it made me feel good about the Games.

A potential winner. Unfortunately, there was one more city to go, and that would be the nail in Paris' coffin.

1. London
There's this sports advertisement, I think it was Nike, that showed a jogger running through a city like it's an ordinary thing to do. At the end, while he's resting, a passer-by asks him for directions, and he gives it casually. The idea was that sports is just another part of life, so take care of your body with the right gear.

This same idea -- about sports as part of life, not the right gear -- was used in London's video. It too showed a single (female) jogger running through the city, and anyone she passed was inspired to do something sports-like, e.g. stewardesses racing across a pedestrian crossing, a construction worker doing the pole vault, etc. More than just happy-happy-joy-joy, this video's message was that sports could inspire you, and by extension, the Olympic Games can inspire the world.

And that was a very good, very powerful message. It's not just showcasing the city, but going into how the city can bring out the best of the Olympic ideals. And that's why I would pick London as the winner.

As it turned out, London did win and Paris came in second, which is in line with my video-based ratings.


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Beng said...

Ha, what a coinicident! You've found the French and I've found the British! (and hosted on my blog, whether it's fair to the other cities or not, hey it's MY blog right?)

But I guess the songs play a part in the videos too, and Proud was really gooooooood. :)

Kiv said...

Moscow did play host to the Olympics before - 1980. But many countries boycotted as a protest for their invasion of Afghanistan.

benita said...

Hey! I did a commentary on the videos on my blog. Thought that I'd share them with you.. Cheers.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

London 2012

Big surprise there. This morning we were placing our money on Paris over lunch (not over lunch, we did eat).

It was down to London vs Paris at 7pm, with the news announcing that the other 3 were out of the race. 54 - 50, that was the voting result. Thank you, Mr Jap-guy-who-almost-said-one-too-many. And I think Vivien Tan's really pretty.


London's video flowed really well and was pretty inspirational, with an added dash of humour. I loved the idea of the marathon runner inspiring people from all walks of life to incorporate sports into their daily lives. Good stuff. It's 7 years away - and all eyes will be on London then. I guess it's such a big hulabaloo to us simply because the voting's held here this year. Proximity! Ha.

I think Singapore's video was well done. The we-are-so-in-touch-with-nature part was overdone though, I feel. We are a green city, yes, but not that naturally green. Generous amounts of high-key lighting (of course), nice angled shots, many angled shots, pretty pretty picture painted. Okay I admit I felt a teeny bit patroitic while watching the video (millions around the world watching your teeny country at the same time, how not to!) .

This event has thrown Singapore into the spotlight and I was super amused to see even local TV go paparazzi-esque, and all the recorders which mysteriously appeared and hovered around the screen when Diana Ser managed to get London's Mayor Ken Livingstone (I bet he'll get knighted in 7 years) for an interview.

Paris' was flamboyant and quite rousing - Luc Besson, of course the cinematography was excellent. It prodded much more at emotions with its awesome display; it didn't bring out enough the essence of the games.

Personally, I thought that Moscow's video was choppy. The background music changed according to the scenes, but it turned out quite distracting. Not too good a job done - save the closing scenes. The rest of the videos weren't much to shout about, honestly. Madrids'... Erm I can't even remember what it was about =|.

Oh, I hope New York didn't get their video done with Hollywood's help, though.
(Pssst cos it was b-oring.)
I was left clueless.

My two cents'.

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