Wednesday Reads: Olympic Fever

Michelle Nielsen

We are insatiable when it comes to reading.  We gobble up daily papers, bookmark trendy blogs, take note of interesting research, and make time to read books.  This is all part of keeping our senses tuned in to new patterns that can help us uncover critical insights about brands, business, culture and communications.

 

Every Wednesday (starting today) we’ll post up some of the more interesting things that make their way onto our reading list.  We’d love to hear what you think and to know what interesting reads you are finding so please feel free to comment here or post on the Nucleus Facebook page 

 

This week we can’t help but get swept up in Olympic fever.  From the gymnasts to the Olympic rings themselves, there are insights popping up all over the place.  But our favorite story of the week was about our childhood friend, Anthony Ervin who had an impressive comeback and proudly represented Team USA in the 50 Freestyle.  Anthony’s journey back to the Olympics has been anything but typical and Rolling Stone gave us a glimpse into where he’s been and what he hopes to accomplish.

 

1. Human brands:  A Flawsome identity inspires Olympic audiences

We keep bumping into an idea that Trendwatching brought to our attention earlier this year called Flawsome.  The brands and people we relate to best are not perfect and that’s ok.  Honest acceptance and admitting past mistakes wins admiration vs. criticism.

Article:Rolling Stone: Gold Medal Swimmer Anthony Ervin is out to reclaim his title 

2. The Olympic rings used as an infographic representing
the 5 continents:

One of the world’s most iconic symbols is reinterpreted by Gustavo Sousa reminding us, in this time of celebration of sport to look beyond athletics and consider all that is happening in the world right now. From PSFK.

Article:Olympic rings reinterpreted

3. The true cost of making the Olympics

For a moment the world stops, and we admire the amazing talent and dedication it takes to perform at the world’s highest athletic level. But how much is this truly valued — monetarily? Many of our top US athletes, heroes we are putting up on a pedestal and revering, are struggling to make ends meet, facing bankruptcy, foreclosure and worse.

Article:The true cost of making the Olympics

4.  Why we can’t take our eyes off the gymnasts

As we sit at the edge of our seats, watching the stunning performances of the world’s great athletes we are fascinated with what gets the most attention and why.  It is rare to observe teenage girls rise to power and indeed, every four years they do. We can’t seem to take our eyes off the gymnasts. This runs counter to almost every other observation of teenage girls that we encounter in our research. Rachel Syme’s post in The New Yorker reveals some brilliant insights about this phenomenon on why we watch the gymnasts, a rare glimpse of girls and self esteem, and the universal human longing for the same.

Article:Women’s Gymnastics: The Olympics as Reality TV

5. The power of visual context

An example of the power of visual context and what can happen, when data becomes interesting. Taking our obsession with measurement and layering on a sense of “it could be me” or in this case “my kid”.

Article: One race, every medalist ever

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