“The Olympic and Paralympic brands are incredibly powerful. They evoke the emotion, excitement and values of the Games.” This is the bold claim by London 2012 and of course the famous Olympic rings are a key part of the brand and can now be seen throughout the capital. However, please be careful if you want to use them…
Designed in 1912 and adopted in 1914 the symbol of five interlocking rings, coloured blue, yellow, black, green, and red on a white field, symbolises the equality and linking of the five continents: North and South America, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia. The iconic symbol is heavily protected yet according to London 2012 “planting the rings in your own private garden (or a school or scout hut garden etc) is fine” but beware if you are a business - the brand police will be after you.
So while the Olympic rings have become an iconic symbol of athletic excellence, controlled obsessively by London 2012, I wondered if alternative “five rings” exist and have any significance beyond the Olympics.
After extensive research, I sourced 10 excellent (in my opinion) examples of how five rings have been used in everyday life without breaking any records and London 2012 branding control:
So while London 2012 advises that “businesses should not use the Protected Marks”, I think I have managed to demonstrate that it will be difficult to control the use of the alternative “five rings”. However, they don’t object to people getting into the spirit by planting in red, white and blue, gold, or our brand colours like magenta pink!
More recently London mayor Boris Johnson slammed the “Olympic Rings Brand Army” and has said: “If you want to stick five doughnuts in your window and call them Olympic rings then be my guest. Or if bakers want to make a gigantic Olympic pretzel in the high streets of London to advertise their wares then let them do so.” Now that’s what I call Olympic spirit – Go Team GB.