Legacy is indeed an interesting word – and a word which can have both positive and negative connotations. Take the 2012 Olympics for example. The day it was announced that London had won the rights to hold the 2012 Olympics was the start of what has turned out into a fantastic legacy for the country and our identity within the wider world. The day after the announcement we had the London bombings. A legacy with an entirely different outcome.
This was the start of Nikki Crumpton’s talk at TEDx Brighton, which looked at the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games and how, as a nation, we went from thinking ‘gawd, let’s hope we don’t embarrass ourselves too badly’ to being fiercely proud of our athletes, national identity and eccentricities. And in a good way.
Crumpton was involved directly with the London 2012 Olympics, but coming from an advertising background thought it would be an interesting and refreshing change to reframe what a legacy can be. When you look at all advertising and marketing activities you usually look at the return for your spend – how much extra cash do you get back for the cash you have spent out, but when it came to London 2012 Crumpton decided this was not the right way to think.
Instead of thinking of Return Of Investment, how about Return Of Involvement?
Instead of logo placement, how could there be actual human involvement which could create change and create a true legacy?
So, instead of volunteers (which unfortunately for a lot of people still smacks of elderly ladies in charity shops, however misjudged this stereotype is) – we had the Games Makers. Still volunteering, but sexy volunteering. Volunteering that people were proud to be part of, and it has been repeatedly said that the Games Makers literally did make the games.
The Paralympians were reframed as the Super Humans, Danny Boyle reframed our own perceptions of what it is to be British and for the first time in what seemed like an age – we felt proud.
And what if we could reframe similar activities for the better – to increase involvement for the better? Could we create truly enduring legacies?
(image of Nikki Crumpton via TEDx Brighton)