Thursday, 26 July 2012

The event that just keeps on giving. And giving

Boudi feels the Iams Olympic effect.

I am in grave danger of being worn down by the Olympics before they even start.

On my bus this morning, there was even a moment when an on-board tannoy played a recorded message by our favourite mop top, Bo Jo, telling us something or other about there being an event on and people being in town because of it.

To be honest, it wasn’t actually easy to hear it properly. I did, however, manage to control my instinct to scream out: ‘shut the **** up you great Tory twok!’ but it was a close-run thing.

Such messages are also playing on train stations and the Tube. It’s like a cross between Big Brother and the Carry On films – a particularly surreal sense of government announcements to tell you the bleedin’ obvious.

Is there really anyone in London who does not, by now, know that the Games are here and, with them, more people, together with traffic restrictions?

It’s hardly been unreported.

And then there are the new swathes of advertising all over the place.

There are banners around with the Olympic logo on. Okay: for street furniture, they’re fine – although I'm sure that nice Eric Pickles had declared war on such things.

Then there are the BT phone boxes that now have Olympic-related ads on them.

And the latest tranch of ones to appear in the centre of London are just utterly crass.

They are hung in pairs on lampposts, and many are straightforward adverts. Some, however, show pictures of assorted members of the GB squads.

And they have nice sponsorship endorsements on them – mostly, it seems, from Proctor & Gamble, the US company that owns a number of well-known brands.

TV ads have been telling us for weeks that Olympic swimming champions need to wash their hair with Head & Shoulders before a race.

Now in the guise of ‘proudly supporting’ the athletes, they have liberally dished out loads of brands to different sportsmen and women.

Thus heptathlete Jessica Ennis’s picture on one of these ‘supporting’ banners has Olay below it.

For one swimmer, it’s Max Factor – because a girl does need her lippy in the pool. A Braun shaver for a synchronised swimmer – and Pampers nappies and Fairy for Paula Radcliffe because – well, presumably because she a mum and not because of that little episode at the 2005 London Marathon.

If you wanted to show support for the athletes, couldn’t you just do it without turning it into an utterly tacky advert?

Not that this sort of Olympic bonus is just for the athletes.

You can also have Olympically clean dishes, thanks to the P&G’s dishwasher products. Although given that the Olympics are Greek, shouldn’t we dispense with the dishwashers – and smash our plates instead?

And I was tad concerned to realise that Iams, the cat biscuit (I had no idea that this was a P&G product) now comes complete with Olympic branding too.

What will the impact be on The Girls? Will Boudi take Queen B grouching to new heights? Will Loki be even faster through the trellis into Tom’s garden next door? Will Otto actually turn around and tell me that the steak at the weekend was infinitely better than any biscuit and she wants more of that straight away please?

Yesterday, the sport itself began with the start of the women’s football.

Which was a relief, to be honest – even if the stadium for the GB side’s opener was hardly full, and then there was the cock-up later with the wrong Korean flag: oops.

Perhaps that will stop everything else feeling so utterly intrusive, if not downright offensive. Although given that the council has now decided that the park directly behind the flats that I live in is now hosting a big screen for the entire affair, plus sports ‘taster’ sessions, the former seems unlikely.

No comments:

Post a Comment