Peter Severinson is assistant editor of BCBusiness.
Here's a gem of an ad from VANOC, and, man, does it say a lot about the organization. The ad features a crowd of be-merchandised, cheering fans with a mannequin in their midst, clothed in obviously-fake Olympic swag. The caption, if you can believe it: When you buy fake, you're not really a part of the games. After absorbing all this advertising shining and dripping with sugar-laced community spirit, sports achievement and various hug-the-world messages, what's the final message we get? Buy from us if you want to belong.
Yes, join us in showcasing the brilliance of the human spirit through sport, where nations set aside their differences and celebrate those small, beautiful things we have in common: the individual's journey of sacrifice, struggle and achievement. Yes, the Olympic Games: where each event is a microcosm of all humanity, and where the whole world is invited to identify with each athlete who dares to invest years of pain and perseverance into a single, irreplaceable run. I cry for joy at least once every two years. Oh, just make sure you buy the right merchandise; otherwise we don't want you. So, well done.
Thanks for replacing the Olympic themes of friendship, community and excellence with that of abject consumerism. Now every promotion, every advert, every speech that reinforces the uplifting qualities of the Games will trigger this bitter reminder: "When you buy fake, you're not really a part of the games."