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Rio Reflection


As the Paralympians get ready to take centre stage in Rio, we ask some of our Ideas and Insights panel to reflect on what we’ve seen so far and how this compares to the thoughts we had at our Rio event in April this year.


Mary Thomas, Firestarter Marketing

For me it would be summed up as ‘The Have and Have Nots’. The games showcased such bittersweet contrasts – the wafer-thin gap between defeat and victory – the sheer joy of those who met or exceeded their expectations and those who didn’t – from Lutalo Muhammed’s final second gold medal loss, to Tom Daley’s semifinal drop out, the distress of the Dutch losing out to the UK in the women’s hockey – and our own teams unadulterated delight in being unexpected champions, Max Whitelocks last minute success at the expense of Louis Smith.

The ‘Have and Have Nots’, not just in terms of winning and losing, but in terms of economic prosperity and inbuilt advantages for rich nations –  the Americans with their gold standard athletes programmes / hothouses –  in contrast to some of the world’s poorest nations, such as Kenya, still managing to achieve medals. These contrasts create some of the most poignant Olympic moments – for example Rafaela Silva ‘Queen of the Favelas’ winning the Judo Gold is a truly humbling success story.

All of this back dropped by Brazil as host, and its own shocking contrasts, which have formed a commentary throughout the buildup and during the Games, with its own story of extremes of rich and poor, with stadiums full of empty seats, unaffordable to most of the nation’s citizens, with slums cleared for or sitting jarringly adjacent to the glamorous Olympic infrastructure.


Home and Lifestyle

Ruth Kelly, Trendbible

From the Olympics itself it was all the stories of great sportsmanship that really stood out to me! And of course GB celebrating the incredible achievement of our athletes!

Reflecting back on the trends forecast for the Spring/Summer season we saw some really lovely interpretations of the ‘Rio’ influence. I think the M&S ‘Spirit of Summer’ campaign really stood out as getting it right – a really modern, fresh interpretation influenced by South America and Central America as a geography more generally. Rather than putting an obvious and stereotypical ‘Rio’ label on everything, it’s tapped into the broader focus on that area of the world as a travel destination. The packaging design, advertising and products captured an energy that was spot on.


Joao Barufi, Brand Manager, Bosch

They pulled it together at the end, that was amazing to see!

For a while I was concerned it wouldn’t happen, as we got closer and closer and the athletes were moving to hotels I thought that would be the end.

Team GB did brilliantly and the real heroes are still to compete in the Paralympic games!

And to finish, as we say in Brazil, the party always ends up in pizza and carnival. Well, it was literally carnival. According to the FT, the budget was overrun by 51% whilst the Olympic committee publishes a total cost of USD 7.5 billion, which have made the rich minority wealthier and the poorer will have to pay the bill.



Graham McKenzie, Travelmole

So despite the recriminations, worries, self-analysis and stress before the Olympics started (which seems only too familiar in the pre-Olympics run up – who can forget the fear amongst all Londoners that the capital would grind to a halt during the summer of 2012?), in many respects Rio 2016 was no different from any other games having pre-performance nerves. The troubles here though may go a bit deeper than butterflies in the tummy.

Only a few years ago when Brazil actively sought the games they were very much top of the pops. The economy was so encouraging that they even took the lead singer role in the BRIC band. They were leading the new wave of economies set to sweep away any vestiges of old money in Europe and North America.

Yet here we are a few years later and money’s too tight to mention. Rio has set out emergency policies to avoid a catastrophic loss of essential services and the Paralympics has been cut right back.

So why hold the games? Is it National Pride? Legacy infrastructure? Maybe Tourism? Well only time will tell on the first two but for tourism, I feel the answer will sadly be no. In fact the mistakes have already been made and it’s too late baby. Too late to invite the press in advance to find out what Rio has to offer. In the years leading up to the 2012 games Visit Britain was doing its very upmost to show off all the country’s heritage both sporting and otherwise with one press and familiarisation trip after another. Scotland a few years later did likewise for the Glasgow Commonwealth games. Not so this time.

Rio and Brazil have had an opportunity to rectify the negative image in the minds of the international tourists. The 2016 games is an opportunity to help change that and bring about an increase in visitors which through their social and economic impact change lives. Sadly Rio has lost its voice and its chance.

A half-drunk bottle of Cachaca, by Alex Fleming


As the 2016 Olympics comes to an end, we look back on some of the highlights and the legacy, both for Rio and Team GB

Part Two: Rio’s Legacy

Post-Olympics, this week I am waking up to a half drunk bottle of Cachaca, a bag of limes and a can of black beans; not much of an Olympic legacy. But, what is Rio waking up to? After 16 days of hosting a spectacularly colourful yet controversial Olympic games, what’s next for the city of Rio?


We all know that spending on the upcoming Paralympics has been reduced meaning that some event venues will be closed, transport will be limited and there will be a smaller workforce running the show. Poorly constructed roads, cycleways and buildings, high crime and violence and a country suffering from high unemployment, recession and a crippling spend on the Olympics are filling our newsfeeds and papers. Surely there must be some good for the city to come from the Olympics?


The legacy of London 2012 is still going strong. Massive investment in the London Olympic village in east London has made the area attractive as a hub for living and working – highlighted by the fact that in the past four years office rents have tripled. Tourism is prolific, 11 million visitors have passed through the gates of the Olympic stadium since 2012 and there is no sign of this fading. Plus, there has been an incredible sporting legacy for the nation, enabling Great Britain to win more medals than ever before at Rio 2016.


What will the legacy for Rio be? The city has great plans to contribute to education, sustainability and improving the city’s infrastructure – much of which has already started. They have trained an army of volunteers to support the games and an Olympic village to house 18,000 people, potentially impacting employability and tackling poor quality housing. Only time will tell as to its success.


What is certain is that Rio has reasserted itself as the world’s carnival capital – with the city showing its flare for an excellent party throughout the games. Brazil’s colourful culture is a legacy that the whole world can enjoy.


Photo credit: Will Henderson

Obrigado e boa noite

As the 2016 Olympics comes to an end, we look back on some of the highlights and the legacy, both for Rio and Team GB

Part One – The Best Bits


It’s over.

207 nations took part in 31 sports with 2,102 medals presented. And what a rollercoaster!

As the athletes take their leave, the inevitable analysis will begin as to what worked well, what could have been done better and how on earth did they manage to convince the Tokyo Prime Minister to dress up as a Mario brother?!

Whilst we’re still basking in the glory of Team GB’s golden performance (check out any of the back pages today), we wanted to share some of the Lucre team’s favourite moments. Let us know if you think we’ve missed any!


Lucre’s Golden Moments

The best part of the Olympics, for me, was when Nikki Hamblin fell causing her competitor, Abbey D’Agostino from the US, to also fall. Rather than just getting up and carrying on, she helped her fallen running mate and made sure she finished the race. Nothing quite embodies the spirit of the Olympics than these moments.

Nick Horbowyj


It has to be the video of the O’Donovan brothers from Skibbereen talking about their medal win. Sweet and hilarious. Sums up how something like the Olympics brings together people from all walks of life.

Sophie Spyropoulos



One of the most uplifting sights for me was seeing the huge smile on Nicola Adams’ face before she took to the podium for her gold medal in boxing. She looked so happy and grateful, she could hardly contain it. Her joy was infectious!

Becky Mann


The extraordinary feats accomplished by, who are in the most part, normal people, like you and me! Yes, there are superhuman sportspeople like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt but most of them come from normal communities and countries and have earned this amazing chance to show the world what they can achieve. Like the Fiji rugby team and the British farmer who won a shooting bronze. Even Mo Farah who came to the UK from Somalia not speaking a word of English and look what he achieved!  Really inspiring.

Vickie Rogerson

My favourite part of the Olympics is usually the stadium-based track and field, but due to the time difference I wasn’t really able to watch it, or catch up on the highlights as the evening TV showings were always covering other sports. Whilst this was frustrating, I was able to watch a lot more of other sports that I wouldn’t usually watch, mainly gymnastics, which was actually great. Cycling was great – who knew how many different disciplines there were?! It’s just pure adrenaline – it’s up there with the 100m, 200m and 400m running for my favourite events now.

Brett Cullen


Gymnast Bryony Page is my Rio 2016 hero. She came from nowhere and secured a silver medal on the trampoline in the most humble and real way possible. Her face, as she acknowledges what she’s just achieved on landing is just amazing. She’s proud, relieved and in that split second, you can see four years of hard work and effort and what it means to her. I loved her reaction to winning, I loved her parents’ reaction even more and her little brother, who was plucked from house sitting on to the BBC Breakfast sofa the following day was just brilliant.

Katie Pepper

I cried a lot! Mo Farah, Jess Ennis, Andy Murray – it was an incredibly emotional affair, which I wasn’t expecting. Seeing people achieve their dreams was incredible.

Rhona Templer


I think despite all the doubts and various hiccups along the way – and I admit it took me a while to get into it this year – Rio was a success! It definitely didn’t have the same excitement factor as the home games did (understandably so) but I was equally as hooked, and to sports I never knew I’d be interested in watching. I also thought it was interesting to see the way social has moved on in four years – so many amazing memes and so easy to follow the action on Twitter if you weren’t watching on TV!

Emma Baylis


And if that wasn’t enough, we love this video from BBC Sport (who have done an incredible job with coverage) on the funniest moments from #Rio2016


Next up: Part Two – Rio’s Legacy


Photo Credit: and

A winning wet n’ wild Wednesday


Think Rio, think sun, bikini bodies and bright colours. Well, as our Rio Insight panel acknowledged back in April, Rio in the winter paints quite a different picture…one which looked very much like Britain yesterday with the dark clouds, slashing rain and blustery wind.


But, with conditions we are more than used to, Team GB thrived!


Medals for the relentless Sally Conway in judo, Joe Clarke in the canoe slalom, Steven Scott in the shooting, Chris Froome in the cycling time trial and Max Whitlock in the men’s gymnastics all-around event.


For us here in Yorkshire, it was a slightly bittersweet result with rising star Qais Ashfaq losing out in the bantam but Harrogate’s Jack Laugher and Chris Mears getting gold in the 3m synchro.


What a day and with Great Britain moving two places up the medal table, we’re VERY much looking forward to seeing the athletics unfold on Saturday!





Images credited to: Getty Images, BBC News and Evening Standard

VR is becoming mainstream. Are you ready? By Bogdan Marinescu

I’ve long been a fan of Virtual Reality and have eagerly been waiting to see and experience its applications in everyday life. You can therefore imagine my sheer delight when the BBC announced the launch of a VR service for viewers to experience the 2016 Rio Olympics in immersive 360 degrees style. The Beeb will broadcast around 100 hours of live events and highlights packages throughout the 16-day event, offering viewers at home a completely new viewing experience.

Viewers will have to download a new BBC Sport 360 app, which is available on iOS and Android Play and purchase a VR headset, with prices for a cheap cardboard one starting from just a few pounds. A bargain!

With the BBC’s decision to roll out this experimental service, we’re finally seeing VR technology starting to creep into the mainstream. This is a new and exciting time for many creative industries, as the technology will offer opportunities for campaigns and agencies to stand out, especially in PR sector.

A few companies have started capitalising on the technology, especially those in sectors that are inherently suited for the “immersive experience”. For example, Thomas Cook launched the “Try Before You Fly” campaign, allowing prospective customers to experience their destinations virtually before purchasing their holidays. Nvidia invited members of the media to experience their new graphics card by virtually climbing Mount Everest from a London warehouse compete with freezing temperatures, wind and fake snow!


Sure, live VR technology is still expensive (think tens of thousands of pounds for a few minutes of video) but 360° photos are already here and you can create them with a smartphone and the right app. Facebook already allows users to post 360° pictures, with important opportunities for certain sectors. Property developers could show you around a house with the help of a VR headset and a 360° picture without the need to leave your home. You could have a virtual look around a venue to assert its suitability for an event before deciding whether it’s worth viewing it in person or not.

The possibilities we see here are endless and I’m sure these will be very exciting times for PR agencies and the wider creative industry alike.

Is Rio Ready? By Brett Cullen

The question of whether Rio is ready to host the 2016 Olympics will be answered when the Games open this Friday 5th August.

Last week a Sky Sports report discovered that construction work is still going on behind the scenes as big-wigs endeavour to get venues in tip-top shape before athletes and visitors descend.

There are investigations whether pre-bid promises regarding crime, regeneration and social commitments are being followed through too.

Ganabara Bay – which will host sailing, triathalons and some swimming competitions – was found to still be a filthy mess, whilst the launch ramp collapsed raising concerns from world’s media.

Despite that, the Brazilian and local government seem keen to show that everything is going to plan, as this timelapse of the Olympic Park being built shows (although the video has only been seen just over 600 times, which suggests they aren’t shouting too loud about it!).

We’re optimistic folk here at Lucre though and are sure that everything will go off without a hitch…let’s not forget that Brazil when faced similar criticism before the 2014 FIFA World Cup, yet delivered the most-watched sporting event of all time without any major issues.

Time will tell.

Finding the Firsts at Rio 2016, by Alex Fleming

What will you be looking out for at the Rio 2016? I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll be tuning in, along with me, my mum and the rest of the world, to the Men’s 100m Final on the evening of Sunday 14th August. In 2012, an estimated two billion people watched Usain Bolt cross the line!


But we all know that the Olympics is much bigger than huddling round the TV to watch this one event. Since London 2012 social media usage has exploded and we have no doubt that #rio2016 will be globally trending for the Olympic fortnight. At Lucre’s recent I&I event, gathering industry experts to talk about the impact of Rio 2016, Logan Wilmont, Creative Director, said: “This will be the first truly social games, playing out on mobile.” Our newsfeeds will be filled with memes, clips and pics from the games. Today I stumbled upon an article listing the ‘100 must follow social media handles’ for Rio 2016. ONE-HUNDRED newfeeds to follow, sounds like a few too many for me.


So how can we sift through the world of social media to find an Olympic niche? Well, I am going to look out for the “firsts”. Firsts on the fringes, firsts behind the scenes and firsts upfront at Rio 2016. Here are my top three firsts I will be looking out for:


  1. The Olympic virgins

This year Kosovo and South Sudan entering the Olympics for the first time. They are just two of the 206 countries and 10,500 athletes taking part in this year’s games. I am keeping my eyes peeled for their tiny teams in the opening ceremony, ready to give them a big cheer.


  1. There is a first time for everything

Kitesurfing, golf and rugby-sevens are all to become Olympic sports for the first time this year. I have the dates of their debuts in my diary so I know when to tune in.


  1. Location, location, location

Not only is 2016 Rio’s first Olympic games, it is Brazil’s first, South America’s first and the world premier of an Olympics held in a Portuguese-speaking country. No doubt the BBC will make things easy for us to understand, but I am pledging to learn at least a few words in Portuguese.


Ruth Kelly, Senior Trend Strategist at the Trend Bible said: “Social media means that we are saturated by visual inspiration and Rio 2016 will play to that perfectly, embracing the visual energy of the country.”


So my Rio actions are: follow Kosovo and South Sudan; retweet news on the new sports and celebrate the unique culture, colour and language of games through Instagram.


You won’t drag me away from the TV on the night of the Men’s 100m final, but you will also find me #findingthefirsts at #rio2016.

The road to Rio – the impact of the 2016 Olympic Games


Recently the Lucre Group hosted its first ever Rich Ideas and Insights (I&I) event, entitled The Impact of Rio, an examination of how the Rio Olympics will impact the Home & Lifestyle, Travel and Food & Drink sectors.

As the latest addition to the Lucre family, I&I is about keeping our thinking fresh, making sure we’re sharing the latest insights and delivering campaigns with real impact.

Ideas and Insight

As part of this, our regular I&I events will feature expert panels discussing the issues which will affect consumer behaviour, create trends and be written about by media, making sure we stay ahead of the pack.

The Rio Olympics 2016 was the subject of our first event, held at Brazilian bar Floripa in Shoreditch. Including brand and marketing managers, designers, journalists and writers, our 12 experts brought experience and expertise from across home and lifestyle, food and drink, travel and creative thinking.

Influencing everything from colour palettes to fast food


Discussions ranged from how the Olympic Games will influence our paint choices to what will be the next fast food trend to hit the high street (office delivery of real coconut water, anyone?). It was a glimpse of how w,e as consumers, want to be communicated with and how brands can (and will) explore that.


We’ve put together a short film of the event to give you an idea of what happened and some of our predicted insights can be found in more depth here.

If you are interested in hearing more about I&I or would like to take part in a future event, please email or call 0113 243 1117 to be added to our mailing list.