Anil Thakraney: Cool Britannia!

30 Jul,2012

By Anil Thakraney


To be honest, I couldn’t bring myself to keep awake all night to watch the London Olympics opener. One, because I really am not a huge fan of the games. Stuff like long jump, high jump, pole vault, rowing, archery, and so on bores me enormously. Second, I was simply being my lazy old self. But the opening ceremony I did want to view, especially after all the orgasming on Twitter. And the internet videos came to my rescue as usual.


Yes, the opening ceremony was spectacular. I don’t know what Beijing had done, and knowing the way the Chinese operate, it must have been all about tech prowess. The Brit event was more about drama and emotion. Which is why asking Danny Boyle to put the opening ceremony together was a smart idea. He used the opportunity to do what he does best: tell stories. The show took us through the passage of time. The industrial revolution, James Bond, Paul McCartney, Rowan Atkinson, and a whole lot of other symbols that have defined Britain over the centuries. Plus the stunning fireworks and the dazzling lights.


Thehigh point, of course, was the Queen being parachuted into the park. I thought this was a master stroke, and only Boyle could have pulled it off. The stunt wasn’t just totally unexpected, it told you two things: One, that Britain is changing, that while they value their history and culture, they also understand the word ‘cool’. And in that one single act, they brought the old and the new Britain together. Clever thinking. Only a movie director or an advertising creative director could have come up with this audacious idea.


All in all, a super show.Britain should be proud of itself. This is going to be a tough act to follow. I have just one regret: Millions and millions of pounds were blown away in one single evening. And to think it’s the Games that really matter at the Olympics. Imagine the things that could have been done with all that dosh. An entire underground train network in Mumbai. Thousands and thousands of flyovers. Anyway, let’s not go down that road, there’s no end to my carping.


Let’s just hope, after all this mega shor sharaba, our folks return with at least one medal.


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PS: Surely the best London Olympics ad. From Durex. Perfect. This is what is called seamlessly attaching your brand to a global event. With no chance of needless ‘spill over’. 🙂





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