Design system and activation creative for 2012 Olympics
London Olympics 2012, the world's most important event in that calendar year, had McDonald's as one of its main sponsors. The fast-food chain needed to find an original way to amplify its brand exposure during the period.
– How might we create a memorable experience for fans during the Olympic Games?
– How might we create impact and engagement without violating the other stakeholder brands?
Together we came up with the 'celebration' theme and I seamlessly integrated it with three distinct design systems, the International Olympic Committee's, London 2012 and McDonald's, which were rolled out into various activation initiatives.
Our brief was to transform the idea of confetti as a symbol of celebration into a coherent design system that could be applied across all of McDonald's 2012 Olympics sponsorship programme. Additionally, we needed to document said system in a way that was inspiring and fun to interact with.
The project was set against an extremely aggressive timeline and an unusually complex stakeholder landscape which included more than 25 groups not just within the client-organisation, but also external parties like the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Delivery Authority.
To ensure that delivery deadlines are met with plenty of time for reviews, we opted for an Agile methodology that would allow us to develop several strands in parallel. Our work streams included (a) the consolidation of different design systems into a single, coherent one; (b) the development of a fully fledged experiential concept using the confetti theme; (c) numerous photoshoots and filming; (d) the design of 24 icons representing different sports and London landmarks; and finally, (e) the production of large batches of laser-cut confetti.
We commissioned a design studio in Australia to develop the icons, taking several iterations until the final set was approved. In the meantime, documentation was being developed using interim versions of assets. I also led creative teams, designers and production to collaborate on the storyline and creative applications of the assets produced.
Once approved, the icon designs had to be physically produced for photo shoot and filming. We chose a special type of silk-paper for the material and used laser-cutting technology to cut the icons off paper. The resulting photos and film were integrated in the documentation and further developed into several variations of logo lock-ups, creative concepts for OOH experiential, augmented reality, and marketing materials.
We hit the deadline targets and delivered the project right in time for the campaign calendars in Asia and Middle East. After successfully going through a complex stakeholder management process, we exceeded the client's expectations, satisfied the requirements of all organisations involved and left everyone hungry to start putting the ideas to work.
Agency Leo Burnett London
Creative Direction Garry Munns
Concepts Vilmar Pellisson, Rory Neighbour
Brand design Vilmar Pellisson
Creative Copywriting Stuart Royall
Guidelines Copywriting Vilmar Pellisson