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Mis-Communicator of the Week: Paris 2024

On 6 July 2005 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded London the right to host the Games of the XXX Olympiad. London 2012 went on to be a resounding sporting and cultural triumph cementing our nation’s capital as one of a few of the truly world cities. London’s final round opponent in 2005 was Paris who, having lost by a mere four votes, are trying once again to persuade the IOC of their merits to host an Olympic Games - this time in 2024. 

Slogans play an important role in setting the tone, context or objectives of a campaign of this kind. Sometimes they do all of these and, in doing so, fulfill the role of narration, setting out the fundamentals of the case, as would happen in the second part of a well crafted speech.  

The problem with too many modern day campaigns is that the slogan often comes before the strategy, resulting in a vacuous statement rather than an affirmative statement of the facts.  

This is part of what has appeared to have happened with this week’s award winners - Paris 2024 - who have come up with a slogan through committee. What has also happened is inadvertent plagiarising of ad campaigns from Quality Street, Cadbury’s and Burger King. Furthermore the bid team are using a slogan written in English which has drawn the fire of the Acadèmie Française - the institution policing the French language since the 17th century. 

Paris has an awful lot going for it despite the recent rioting and terror attacks. It deserves to be brought to life through a slogan better than one previously used to sell sliceable pizzas from Burger King. The slogan “Made for Sharing” doesn’t bring to mind dappled sunlight reflecting on the seine on a spring evening but instead sparks up ideas of high sugar/fat consumer goods. 

The founder of the modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, was French; the first language of the Olympic movement is French (the second being English); and London beat Paris back in 2005 because its bid had a unique proposition focussed on youth and legacy. The Paris 2024 team have ignored all of these things and failed to set a meaningful narrative for their campaign which is why they are my Mis-Communicator of the Week. 

Mis-Communicator of the Week is written by Edward Staite.

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