The Unofficial Brand Olympics, London 2012

As the final wisps of smoke from the Paralympic flame dissipate over East London, and the gates to the Olympic Park close (until 2014), London after the London 2012 euphoria finds itself in a period of reflection. While the media and the government reflect on the golden summer, and Brazilian Olympic organizers reflect on learnings to apply to their plans; we at Integer London have reflected on the brands that decided that official status wasn’t for them. An unofficial Brand Olympics, if you will.

For guerrilla product placement, the gold medal goes to Dr Dre and The Beats

Athletes from the top 20 countries in the last Olympics were invited to The Beats store in Shoreditch, not far from the Olympic Village where, after having their photos taken in front of the “b” logo they received a free pair of headphones in their team colors.

For the most inventive retailer link to the games, the gold medal goes to Sofa Workshop

For the most stylish unofficial sponsor, the gold goes to Space NK

When you can’t use the logo, you can’t reference ‘Olympics’, and you can’t use any of the competitors in your communications once the games kick off, what are you left with? The medals. And what a beautiful treatment from Space NK.

Even bringing the podium into store merchandising!

For the most humorous unofficial campaign, the gold goes to Paddy Power (one of the UK’s newest ‘turf accountants’!)

For the fusion of fashion and sport, gold goes to Zara.

Editor’s note: London 2012 was all about inclusivity, engagement, and brands giving a platform for athletes and the public to express themselves. Adidas would win gold here if they weren’t official sponsors and therefore precluded from our awards!

Daily press and twitter coverage of the athletes picking up their kits helped build the excitement levels to fever pitch.

Did you see any other gold medal retail activations?

– Contributed by Ian Foulds, Integer London