Chicago 2016 (The Mottos)

Last time we looked at the 2016 Summer Olympic candidate city’s logos. Now we turn to the other unifying element of each bid-the city mottos. I admit up front that Olympic mottos tend to be both corny and forgettable. But they may indicate something about each city’s tone, as well as the themes we might see expressed in the opening ceremonies and marketing of the games. As with the logos, here are the mottos and my comments.Chicago“Let Friendship Shine”Sappy? Yes, but it could be worse. I do like the notion of friendship. It communicates the warmth of the city and the hope that athletics can bring diverse people together and bind them in friendship. It may also be a useful value to highlight as the games have become increasingly politicized and controversial in recent years. The “shine” element fits nicely with Chicago’s star logo and radiating light. Overall-not bad. Madrid “Hola Everyone” This fits the Olympic tradition of corny mottos, but it also fits Madrid’s logo-the cartoony waving hand. Together the motto and logo seem to communicate that Madrid isn’t taking this bid very seriously. It’s over-the-top playful. I’m not sure it’s what you want to communicate to the IOC, which seems to be a body that takes itself very seriously. Final verdict-too juvenile. Rio de Janeiro “Live Your Passion” When you think of Rio you think “passion.” From the excesses of Carinvale to the world-famous/notorious beaches. The Latin/Brazilian ethic of vivacious living seems to be captured nicely in this motto, but the phrase misses the Olympic spirit of unity entirely. Like Rio’s logo, it’s very Brazilian but not very Olympic. My call-off the mark. Tokyo “Uniting Our Worlds” Like Chicago and Madrid, Tokyo’s motto fits very nicely with its graphic logo. The musubi knot is a cord of five strands (colors) bound together. And the phrase captures that well, along with the Olympic ideal of bringing different cultures together through sport. But the motto does all of this with no creativity; no panache. Tokyo’s logo and motto seems overly left-brained, too serious, and on the opposite end of the scale from Madrid’s playful cartoon approach. In summary-lighten up. Which motto do you like best?


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