Bonkers, barmy, brilliant and British: the opening ceremony is over, the greatest show on earth has begun and the world is watching.

Bonkers, barmy, brilliant and British: the opening ceremony is over, the greatest show on earth has begun and the world is watching.

How as retailers are we capitalising on the Olympic Games and the resultant flood of visitors and the general feel-good factor? To me, it seems that we are not.

Of seven retailers advertising in last Friday’s London Evening Standard not one referred to anything other than money off, which to me is bonkers and barmy.

I know that the ‘brand Stasi’ is out in force to prevent ambush marketing and make sure that only the brands that have paid fortunes to be sponsors of the Games are protected, but nevertheless I get the impression that the majority of retail marketing departments have accepted this and rolled over and become compliant.

Come on marketeers, you can do better than this. In fact, in this climate you need to do better than this. Stick your necks out, be creative, have fun and have a go.

I am in mortal danger for writing these heretic words, because while penning this I can see a red laser dot from a Locog brand Stasi sniper dancing around my office looking for a clear shot at me.

As a result of this article, I will probably be arrested, put into a Next white and gold Team GB tracksuit and be on a rendition flight to Atlanta (home of Coca-Cola) quicker than you can say Pepsi-Cola.

You are all missing the boat and need to become more agile and nimble, engage the customer, make them laugh and raise your brand awareness. 

Where there is a will, there is a way, as demonstrated so ably by Specsavers, which, the day after the Korean flag mix-up at the football, had a brilliantly funny ad showing the two Korean flags with the well-known tag line underneath “Should have gone to Specsavers”, and Paddy Power, proud sponsors of the largest athletics event in London (ahem London, France, that is) this year. Just do it. Oops, there I go again.

  • Jamie Zuppinger, Co-founder and joint managing director, Barracuda Search