Analysis: He may be a cheeky character but he has a serious job to do
A MASCOT exists to generate awareness and enthusiasm in a sporting event, embodying the more light-hearted, social and fun aspects of competition and spectacle.
For the Commonwealth Games, it must form the link between various sporting activities and the community, culture and personality of the host city. A unifying character, its appeal must be broad, celebrating the best in sporting gamesmanship.
With the debate about 2012’s legacy for the young generations raging, it is ultimately children that Clyde exists to inspire, and, with that in mind, his cheeky character and welcoming tone of voice, along with a charming, if a bit cheesy, back story, feels quite appropriate.
So is Clyde memorable? He’s not sophisticated or especially contemporary. Does he have the stylistic pedigree of Mariscal’s Cobi mascot from Barcelona’s 1992 Olympics. Definitely not. But with bundles of Glasgow character, who cares!
As a nation, we seem to have a particularly strong fixation with some stereotypical symbols and characteristics that define us, both within our own borders and abroad.
However, in this context, is that a bad thing?
What is most important is how Clyde is deployed to engage both young and old, in the lead-up to and duration of the Commonwealth Games, to put sport at the heart of Scotland’s communities.
The very process of creating the mascot celebrates a community spirit and local talent, which is an excellent start.
As for its success and subsequent legacy, we’ll just have to wait and see.
• Susanna Freedman is a director and head of brand at Emperor Design in Edinburgh and London.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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