Monday, July 31, 2006

the 5 friendlies rock

I know its old but the 5 Friendlies - the Olympic mascots for the 2008 Olympics - have a lot to tell us about why China suceeds. They are commercial genius, what sells better than an olympic mascot? 5 Olympic mascots! They offer more choice (come on you have to like at least one!) and 5 times the cost to collect the whole set! Plus they illustrate true conceptual flexibility - snaps to the design agency for grouping a fish, bird, panda, antelope and um, fire together. And then naming them so when combined they spell 'Beijing Huanying Ni' (Beijing welcomes you). If it was tied up any neater I think I don't think you could actually take it all in. If you a look at the official site you can also note how they draw on ancient Chinese art forms as well. I can just imagine the brief-by-committee;

Mascot for Olympics must feature:
- chinese wildlife
- traditional Chinese culture
- seem welcoming
- active
- friendly
- Must also be modern
- look good in soft toy form
- and include the Olympic symbols; the 5 rings and the Olympic flame.

And someone managed it. It makes my head spin. True Olympic Stuff.

The 5 friendlies are also used to represent the various sports, so we're treated to:

fire on a bike!

and something else you rarely see, a panda with a gun. A friendly panda with a gun at that.


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