Thursday, March 30, 2006

Wouldn't a beer barrel be better?

Mr. Pique is my first memory of football, that and my cousin and father getting excited about the Laudrup brothers in 1986. I was still too young to stay up and night and watch football.

However, Mr. Pique was exciting enough. A friend from far away. In fact, I made his counterpart in Red, called him "lonka". Mr. Pique, the mascot for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, is amongst my three favourite mascots of all time*. And he was cute.

Unfortunately, cuteness is not the only criteria while designing the mascots for World Cup. Obviously, the mascot should be related to the culture of the place. I support that. It should also look fairly energetic and sporty, if it represents the football World Cup or the Olympics. I can live with that. However, some organising committees also think of other criteria. For example:

"GOLEO VI has set himself one overriding task and has made it his sole priority: he wants the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany to be one huge, joyful and unforgettable party, spending his time as the "King of Parties" celebrating, singing and dancing with fans from all over the world for four whole weeks. He's as cool as they come, an attribute he's likely to need as his fame and stardom inexorably increase."

Then, after having confused the matter and brought in 'cool', they give the designing duties to some corporate design firm instead of a children's book illustrator or children themselves. Firms like Jim Henson Company, which neither have any background in local culture, nor are told to think cute. The result: Ugly shaggy lion with no pants.

Okay, Goleo is not as bad as Olympics 1996, when nobody could even figure out what it was, sorry, What'sit or 1990, when the best of Italian design came up with Ciao. But, I am sure even a cute beer barrel would have looked better. In fact, come to think of it, that's a very good idea. Nothing like beer to represent Germany, is there?

* The other ones are Hodori and Misha from the Olympics.


Blogger Mr. D said...


11:27 PM  
Blogger dhoomketu said...

I was five years old.

3:56 AM  

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