I took a look at the final four Olympic Bid videos, and rated them as I would if I were an IOC member, just for fun. (I also worked in advertising for 15 years, so I like to think I know a thing or two about selling…)

The second place winner, in my opinion, is Tokyo:

I love the idea of the ribbons running through the city. I love the colors and brightness of the images, and the combination of modern with traditional images. It drags on too long, though. A minute or two shorter and it would have been much more enjoyable. I knew the ribbons would do something in the end, but thought they would combine to form the rings, instead they form the logo, from Idsgn:. “Using the slogan “Uniting our worlds,” the logo ties the five Olympic colors in the form of a traditional Japanese knot. The knot, known as ‘musubi,’ has long been utilized in Japan to signify blessings during times of celebration.” (Which makes sense, if you know that, but I didn’t…but it is cute.)

Third place, Chicago (again, these are in order according to my opinion):

Very professionally done, as I would expect. However, the opening quote leaves me a bit put off from the beginning. “a Chicago man…” Right off the bat it is not inclusive of women or people of the entire country, or the world. I think the four athlete stories are nice, and would make good promotional ads had Chicago won the bid, but for a Bid, I found the video very cold, and very micro, self centered.

The image of the man walking in the trench coat, whether it was intentional or not, made me think of Obama, which bugged. The over all feel of the video felt more like “What having the Olympics here will do for me” not, “What we can do for the Olympics by having them here.” I think there is room for some *how important the Olympics are to me* but the that was the overall theme, including the speeches by the Obama’s, which was just way too much. It felt too cold, and too non-global. Also, the Olympics are in the summer, so the cold, autumn/winter feel felt out of place. I get that they were interviews prior to the games, but they didn’t invoke a warmth and excitement of a Summer Olympics.

I also think it’s unfortunate that they used the same paraplegic sport (biking) as Tokyo. And too much talk about fire, I don’t like the end quote about the fire sitting at the end of a torch. I also think the comment about building a stadium over the park where the guy used to work out is depressing – it sounded very *non-green* friendly. There are some beautiful shots of the city, nice use of the architecture, and the waters edge. Like I said, if Chicago had won, these individual stories would make nice lead up commercials for the games, but they just felt too cold and self centered for an international bid.

Last place, Madrid:

Way too long, and boring. I guess it would help if I understood Spanish, but the video just drags on and on. If the assignment was just to show all the new construction ideas, they would win hands down. But five minutes of computer generated mock ups…blech. It also looks way too smoggy and the landscape looks awful. I can’t imagine that is the best Madrid can look. Nothing about the video would make me want to go there. I have been to Barcelona, and LOVED it, but this did not sell Madrid at all. If you are an architect junkie, or a builder or something, this might be right up your alley, but as an IOC member, looking for excitement, and energy, this was not it. The best thing about the video was their cute Olympic logo at the end.

Named “Corle,” the logo features a hand in the Olympic colors—which intends to represent unity among different cultures, people, and nationalities—along with silhouette of an ‘M’. The city’s bid slogan is “Hola everyone.”

And the winner is…

Great use of Olympic images, combined with the beauty of Rio. The video focuses on Rio, all it has to offer, but has a very international feel, and communicates the Olympic spirit – the thrill of the games, and the emotion. It is also short, and doesn’t drag on like some of the others. It has a very warm feel. If I were on the IOC, and voting on these videos, I would have selected Rio. Their video, combined with the fact that South American has never hosted a game makes them an excellent choice. And I like their heart shaped logo.

And for those who are trying to blame the loss on Bush, Chicago was selected as a finalist for the 2016 games last summer, when Bush was still president.

On April 14, 2007, Chicago was selected by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) as the United States Bid city, and on June 4, 2008, the IOC named Chicago as one of four finalists to host the 2016 Olympic games.

  • Super post, Need to mark it on Digg

  • I was hoping for Chicago but congrats Rio de Janeiro

  • Lyn

    One of the “best” lines in Obama’s speech was when he said about Meeeshil, “I’m sure you’d all agree that she’s a pretty big selling point,”
    Yep that big beautiful smile she is always flashing and the fact she never frowns or looks unhappy, and her overall gracious manner sure would make people feel welcome.

  • creeper

    >The over all feel of the video felt more like “What >having the Olympics here will do for me” not, “What >we can do for the Olympics by having them here.”

    Evidently Obama never heard Jack Kennedy say “Ask not…”

    I remain convinced that MEchelle’s speech is what cost Chicago the Olympics. Not only was it totally about her, she didn’t even bother to attempt a plausible lie when she said she’d sat on her father’s lap and watched Carl Lewis in the Olympics. If that were true, she’d have to have been twenty at the time. Did it never occur to her that the people she was speaking to might be passably familiar with Olympic history?

    That wasn’t just a lie. It was an expression of outright contempt for the IOC.

  • DAB

    When I saw the videos on TV before the final announcement, I rated them in EXACTLY the same way that AGII did, although I have never been in advertising and didn’t fully analyze why I felt this way

    Briefly though, I thought that Madrid’s video was too choppy in its presentation and you couldn’t really grasp any image before another one was presented. It seems that they tried to be artsy in an overly self-conscious way.

    I also thought that Toyko’s submission was lovely but that Rio was spectacular and really made you want to visit there. I once lived near Chicago and feel that the video did a good job of capturing the tenor and highlights of that city, but it lacked any compelling reason to hold an Olympics there.

    • haha I actually don’t think you need ad experience to have the same opinions I do, I just threw that in there in case anyone wondered why i would even offer my opinion. Ya know… naysayers. haha

      • Portia Elizabeth

        Yep. There’s always somebody ready to accuse you (the general ‘you’) of being unfair and biased if you post a criticism even remotely connected to BO. I appreciate reading comments from someone who’s been at the front lines, so to speak, of creating such videos.

        If it hadn’t gone on so long, I would’ve liked Tokyo’s best, but I’m so so happy Rio was awarded these games. S. America is overdue.

        Sorry, Chicago. Sending B/M probably hurt more than it helped. The world just isn’t as enchanted as they’d like it to be.

  • Dbb

    I can’t think of anybody besides Burris that blamed Bush for Chicago’s loss and I only learned of that here. Regardless of who’s President, it would have been difficult for the IOC not to advance a US city to the final cut for a Games 20 years after we last hosted one in Atlanta. It’s hardly an accident that the Rio games will take place just 2 years after Brazil hosts the World Cup for the 2nd time, the fourth time it will be staged in South America, and 6 years after the the first World Cup in Africa.

    • If you click on the many links in the article, you will see the names….there are about 10 mentioned in the stories I link to.

    • Onofre’s arm

      Jesse Jackson laid the blaim squarely on Bush, not that anything coming from that madman has any significance anymore.

      • getfitnow

        Now, Chicago was awarded the bid while Bush was in office. Did Rev. Jackson give Bush credit? Of course not!

  • Rio de Janeiro was opted as the host city for 2016 Olympics among strong contestants like Madrid and Chicago.Do you think right decision has been taken or any other contestant city was a better choice than Rio?

    • I think Rio was the best choice. They waited long enough. Please see my comment above to you, regarding the link.

  • @ Docelder…I never said I want my link to be removed, it’s just that my blog linked on the particular words don’t match in a relevant way. And yes, even i think, let’s leave it to the blog owner, let her decide.

  • Pingback: the best olympic bid videos, according to me! : NO QUARTER()

  • Hi Italy Girl…the above post showcases the concept and research was inspired from my blog post

    “2016 Summer Olympic Logos – May the best logo win!!”


    Thanks for linking back to my post in such an irrelevant way. I will appreciate if you please remove my link from the phrase “form a logo” as it doesn’t makes any sense. It will be better if you mention my blog post properly.

    • Docelder

      Seriously, somebody from a relevant blog links to your site and you are complaining? The ribbons do form the logo. But, the post is as much about the video presentations as anything else. Besides, you don’t own any of these logo’s. One last thing, how the Internet works is people follow links from relevant sites they frequent and find other sites they like. Asking somebody to remove inbound links is asinine.

      It will be better if you mention my blog post properly.

      Seriously, it would probably be better for everybody involved with the Internet if AGII just links to Tokyo, Madrid etc. directly and leaves your site out altogether. But that is up to her. This is her blog posting.

    • Sorry Graphic Design – the logos were a last minute addition – I had written that I didn’t know what the ribbon was, and then did a quick google.

      I didn’t fully reference your site, and only provided a link because I didn’t know where you obtained your information from – you don’t reference any sources on your blog.

      I know you didn’t create the logos, and you didn’t reference where you found the meanings and names to the logos, so I just did a quick link to you.

      I changed the links, and removed any reference or copy from your site.

      I found this site:
      which referenced that it found the information here:

      They provide links to where they obtained their information.

      You might want to update your site, to include references on where you obtained your information.

      Sorry for the trouble.

      • Docelder

        AGII, sorry for butting in… but what buffoonery. Web admins would pay to have a relevant on topic inbound link from a respected site such as this. Especially from a site that doesn’t sell links to begin with. Geez.

        • c’est la vie. he wanted to be a bugger head, so I removed him. The bigger point is that he obtained information elsewhere, and didn’t reference it on his own site, but had issue with me only linking him, not giving him named credit…

          Credit that he didn’t deserve for he neither created the logos, or developed the meaning of them. I actually linked him as a source, while he did nothing on his own site, referencing where he got his info.

          • Onofre’s arm

            Thieves are usually VERY indignant when they’ve been robbed.

          • Lyn

            Good for you. What an annoying person. He should have been grateful.

  • Lyn

    Did you see that CNN actually did a “fact check” criticizng the SNL skit? http://hotair.com/archives/2009/10/05/video-cnn-helps-obama-out-by-fact-checking-snls-skit/

    • Onofre’s arm

      CNN ALWAYS fact checked SNL skits involving Republicans like Palin, Bush, McCain, Reagan, and……oh Hell, doesn’t CNN realize how far they’ve slipped on the credibility scale? How utterly pathetic they’ve become.

    • they are truly truly so far in the tank they now just appear completely ridiculous and are nothing but a joke.

      • Lyn

        and of COURSE they HAD to end the story talking about how different it was when SNL constantly made fun of Sarah, because then they were “dead on” I can’t believe anyone watches CNN anymore, well actually not many people are, I wonder why

  • justme_kc

    are you being facetious or do you really not think that man has something to do with global warming?

    • Docelder

      Al Gores hockey stick is/was bogus. Actual scientists without agendas are looking at the data.


      This would have been and still might be the greatest hoax perpetrated against mankind. Provided you also believe that petroleum is/was biogenic.

      • Docelder

        This one is easier to get at, without getting into the intricate parts. But, Al Gore’s hockey stick is bogus. It was bogus and it still is bogus.


        • Docelder
          • Onofre’s arm

            Thanks Doc for the documentary support. Since I’ve digested mountains of evidence from both sides of this debate, and I’ve tried often to plead the reasonable side, I’ve come to believe that citing supportive articles and scientists usually ends up in an evidentiary pissing match. At the present time however, the greater momentum belongs to the experts that are certain that AGW is a cruel and economically destructive hoax. And sadly, those most affected are the people that are struggling to survive in third world environments. Thanks AL, (asshole).

            • Docelder

              Did you see this?

              Termites – Quote from Science Magazine

              Termite and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Facts: Termites produce more Carbon Dioxide (CO2) each year than all living things combined.

              Scientists have calculated that termites alone produce ten times as much carbon dioxide as all the fossil fuels burned in the whole world in a year.

              Pound for pound, the weight of all the termites in the world is greater than the total weight of humans.

              Scientists estimate that, worldwide, termites may release over 150 million tons of methane gas into the atmosphere annually. In our lower atmosphere this methane then reacts to form carbon dioxide and ozone.

              It is estimated that for every human on Earth there may be 1000 pounds of termites.

              • Onofre’s arm

                Of course I know this Doc, I’ve often stated the fact that termites currently outweigh by four times ALL the people on earth. THAT’S JUST CURRENT FIGURES! Population experts guesstimate that there have been a total of 100 billion Homo Sapiens that have existed in the last 100 thousand years, that’s an average of 1 million people existing each year. But, during that time, termite populations have remained relatively constant, and they’ve been around for more than 100 MILLION YEARS. Just calculating the last 100 thousand years though, termites have weighed 6,000 times more than all the humans that ever existed. It’s a miracle that this planet didn’t spin off in flames before we even got here. And this whole “termite” system is just a minor component in the much broader and complicated structure that represents the climate framework. People have a grossly skewed perspective of our tiny effectual contribution to this planet, I suppose it’s tied to our limited ability to grasp our relative insignificanse.

                • Docelder

                  Here from Australian news. The infamous Gore “hockey stick” hinges on tree ring data from just ten trees. 10. That same scientist excluded another 34 trees which was in data he previously included. So, cherry pick the ten trees, call it “science” and you have a hockey stick of inconvenience.


                  The good news is we are not facing global warming, the bad news is the press and politicians don’t much care.

    • Onofre’s arm

      If man has anything to do with global warming, it is merely a fraction of 1% of the total effect. The historic fluctuations and trends of global climate are vastly more affected by natural forces that dwarf anything mankind is yet capable of. AGW (anthropocentric global warming) is a greater and more destructive fraud than Lysenkoism. Almost daily now, more information and more experts are pointing to the obvious reality that global temperature trends are driven almost entirely by mechanisms that are natural and inexorable. The fact that we can witness and measure these natural trends, in no way ties us to the cause of them. In several years, the proponents of the AGW myth, will be proven to be either exploitative profiteers (Al Gore), or colossal fools (Al Gore again).

  • Onofre’s arm

    Barack should have sent Al Gore to Denmark. After all, Al Gore has sold more than half the world on the stupid notion of man made global warming. Either Al Gore is a super pitch man, or more than half the people in the world are dumb as posts. Since it is beyond my imagination to accept the possibility that Al Gore is good at ANYTHING, I unfortunately have to assume the latter holds true.

  • jwrjr

    The Madrid logo could be (mis)interpreted as being the same as Ozero’s gesture of “respect” to Hillary.

  • hot librarian

    I lived within 1 1/2 miles of a recent Olympic Games & worked a coffee cart at one of the major veniues.

    The Olympics is also where people want to go visit -or ythink about planning to go or at least dream of going .

    Not once in my entire life have i heard of anyone who ever wanted to visit Chicago .
    Many would like to go to tokyo Madrid .

    EVERYBODY thinks RIO = wow! Carnivale beaches Ipenama , THONGS!

    The Olumpics need to go back to being fun.

    My kid is in Brazil at the moment & the wholre country is partying.

    • oldmediatype

      You may be one hot librarian but certainly not a brainy one. Chicago is one of the world’s great cities. The arts, the architecture, the parks, the lakes, the beaches, the sports and thriving nightlife all make for a rich experience. Its core is alive and well with a lot of great neighborhoods spreading out from the downtown area. Ever been there? Don’t let your dislike of the “O” bias your opinion of a “toddlin’ town” you’ve obviously never visited. Sure, there’s corruption and crime. But Chicagoans are proud of their city, like Americans are proud of their country, warts and all. Drop by some time. We’re friendly.
      But if you bring the attitude of your post, a guy named Butkus will want to have a little talk with you.

      • Karma

        I think you are missing the point.

        Rio is probably higher on most people’s list of places to visit than Chicago is.

        No matter how nice ‘the arts, the architecture, the parks, the lakes, the beaches, the sports and thriving nightlife’ are. Most people in the world would probably go to New York, Paris, Rome, Greece, etc for that exact list of ‘things to do’. While Rio is fun in the sun and more.

        Like it or not, Obama has nothing to do with where Chicago is placed on people’s travel list. So scratch that from your argument, it was a loser when Obama tried it too. There are just a lot of world class cities that hold more interest for travelers than Chicago.

      • I agree Chicago is a wonderful city, full of fabulous things, but not really the place one thinks of for a summer vacation. Many people save for years to be able to attend a Summer Olympics, and I would think Rio would give many people a reason to travel there, that they would maybe never consider. Chicago…in August…not so much. But, I have had many a fun times in Chicago.

      • Bigtime

        With Chicago being one of the most corrupt cities in America, it has never been one of my vacation destinations. When my choices come down to Detroit or Chicago then maybe I’ll go to “The Rainy City”, aka, the third worst city on the annual list of America’s Most Miserable Cities.
        I think our list of vacation spots has different criteria.

      • Ellen D

        Actually I think you made hot librarian’s point. The mismatch between reality and perception.
        I advertising perception IS reality.
        I have no doubt that Chicago is interesting and amazing, yet not many people I know put it near the top of their list of vacation choices unless they have family there.

        Do a quick test. Say “Chicago” to random people and ask what they think of.

        Gangsters, crime, corruption usually top the list. Even the musical “Chicago” exploited that perception.

        It would have been hard enough to counter this without the beating death of the teenager on front pages at the same time.

        • Ellen D

          Should have been “In advertising”. Running for work now.

  • Lyn

    I agree with your thoughts, and enjoyed reading about why the videos that worked did work, you are right, Rio looked like fun summer and Chicago kind of cold and dull. I liked Tokyos and liked that it didn’t have words I couldn’t understand and liked the Ribbon loga, especially after you told me what the know represents. Yes Rio deserved it and I’d bet THEIR spokespeople didn’t talk all about themselves and how they would like being able to walk to the games from their house (like they would actually walk, when Meechelle needed 6 vehicals just to go buy Kale lol)

    • needed 6 vehicals just to go buy Kale

      LOL! No kidding!

      • Ellen D

        I think you mean Arugula.

        Didn’t know you were in advertising AGII. Me too – in the Madmen era.
        I agree with everything you said about the presentations. One of the hardest things is to get a client to cut shots out – they invariably want their favorites left in and if your client is a commitee you are doomed.

        • Lyn

          No it was Organic Kale, Tuscan of course, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/17/AR2009091703679.html
          But I was worng about the number of vehicals
          The Secret Service and the D.C. police brought in three dozen vehicles and shut down H Street, Vermont Avenue, two lanes of I Street and an entrance to the McPherson Square Metro station. They swept the area, in front of the Department of Veterans Affairs, with bomb-sniffing dogs and installed magnetometers in the middle of the street, put up barricades to keep pedestrians out, and took positions with binoculars atop trucks. Though the produce stand was only a block or so from the White House, the first lady hopped into her armored limousine and pulled into the market amid the wail of sirens.

          • Lana

            That’s just disgusting, wasteful, and totally self-centered to put so many people out so she could have kale. Is there no end to the ego?

        • I love Mad Men. I am behind in the series but was laughing my butt off the other day when the young copywriter (name?) was mad because people kept caving to the clients.

          So, was it really that bad in the 60’s? We drank, but not nearly as much as they do on that show. And oh gawd, the smoking! And the fanny patting…

  • requiredreading

    “The Olympic Ego Trip,” by George Will.

    Says it all: if Rio has Heart, Chicago had the Big O’s: he, himself and him; she, herself, and her:


    • Docelder

      He needs a mature speech writer. Hint… somebody who is closer to forty than twenty. Of course it would help if he actually proof read his material before reading it from the teleprompters. If he does do that, then we need a mature President as well.

    • felizarte

      The Olympic Ego Trip,” by George Will.

      OUCH! OUCH!

  • VinceP

    The Chicago video opened with kids running in the streets too… for their lives.. behind them were gangs, anarchists, SWAT Teams, and those afflicted with Sudden Jihad Syndrome.

  • barry bums a ciggie

    Well, personally, I really enjoyed the visuals of the Japanese video. I am biased though because I lived in Osaka Japan for about 5 years. Shame about Madrid, it was incredibly boring. Chicago was also a snoozer, I want to see images of the city, the country and the people and not hear a narrative. I think Tokyo and Rio did that well. Now, I would be tempted to go if Rio can curb their crime rate :/

    Well done AGII, you are spot on, as usual.

  • jangles

    Interesting how much more powerful the videos without spoken words are. Rio’s says so much about the Olympics and its true spirit. They got it. Chicago is like a lecture. No excitement of the games and the competition or the international coming together of people and athletes. It’s all Chicago just like the O pitch was all about the Os. Maybe narcissism is in the water system there.