Tuesday Blink: The Canadian Olympic Team is Gearing Up for London 2012

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. . . and they really want you to pay attention:Canadian Olympic ad featuring swimmer Ryan Cochrane

When I worked at York University, one of the central communications group’s signature moves was to launch new marketing campaigns by blanketing St. George Station in ads.

Why St. George?Long View of St. George Subway Station

Because, in addition to being one of the busiest interchange stations in the city, it is the primary subway stop for the University of Toronto, the biggest university in town (and in the country, for that matter).

Nothing grabs heads like strolling into your competition’s home base like you own the place.

In a sense, the Canadian Olympic movement operates within the same underdog mentality.When I said blanketed, I really meant blanketed

At first, I thought that was a Twitter handle. I’m not sure why they didn’t put one on the other stairs, but that’s not a major omission. At least there was no QR code to scan while underground.

Canada’s population of approximately 34 million is laughably small compared to many of the other competing nations. Historically, we’ve poured a fraction of the resources into developing our Olympic teams, particularly for the Summer Games.

When I was a kid and could count the Canadian medal haul with my fingers, showing up and doing your best was celebrated as being enough in terms of performance.

But in recent years, the dialogue around the Canadian Olympic movement has changed.World-Class Canadian Olympic Banner Ad featuring Ryan Cochrane

No one’s apologizing about wanting to Own the Podium anymore. During the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010, Canada secured the most gold medals.

While Olympians don’t get as much airplay as professional sporting groups (hello, National Hockey League), their piece of the media and government pies are getting larger.

That assurance informs this advertising campaign, which extends the same look and feel across the current Canadian Olympic website. The photography is muscular (which makes sense) and fantastic.

The standard for Olympic competition is world-class and Canadian athletes do indeed mean business: Canadian Olympic Ad Campaign, featuring gymnastics squad

More importantly, their country now expects it of them.

Where else have you seen these ads?

Add a comment below or visit The Analytic Eye on Facebook and post your photos there. The Maple Leaf Wrap-Around Column Detail, TTC July 2012