An Ode To Sport: BBC’s new spot gets hearts racing with passionate Olympics launch film

BBC Creative, the BBC’s in-house creative agency, has teamed up with Nexus Studios to create the launch film for its coverage of the upcoming Olympics. It takes inspiration from the world’s most romantic city and taps into our passion for sport.

It’s almost time for the 2024 Summer Olympics, and Paris is the proud host city this year. The international sporting event launches on 26 July, when we’ll enjoy the official opening ceremony, and continues until mid-August in France. Taking place in the City of Light and in 16 other cities across France, plus one subsite in Tahiti, you can expect everything from football, cycling, and fencing to sailing, judo, and table tennis.

To promote its coverage of the games, BBC’s in-house creative team has crafted an animated trailer, joining forces with Nexus Studios to help bring the campaign to life. The trailer is based on the premise that Paris is one of the world’s most romantic cities but hones in on the deep, burning passion between an Olympic athlete and their sport.

As such, it depicts their trials and challenges, followed by the rewards and sheer joy of being at the top of their game—much like being in a passionate relationship. The spot winds us between Parisian landmarks such as the Sacré-Cœur, Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame Cathedral, as the French narrator guides us through the symptoms of sporting love.

It’s all set to the timeless French love song Hymne A L’Amour (Hymn to Love) by Edith Piaf, inspired by the love of her life, French boxer Marcel Cerdan. It sees snapshots of love interrupted by Olympians practising their sports, depicting the kind of love that makes your heart race. It all builds to a thrilling crescendo, and the film closes with an understanding of the athlete’s intense passion for their sports as we witness their successes come to life.

Featuring 36 athletes within 58 shots, the animation showcases a diverse range of sports and captures the subtleties and nuances in the expressions and movements of each category. “It’s a deep love for their sports that drives Olympians to achieve things that very few other humans on the planet have done before,” says Rasmus Smith Bech from BBC Creative. “I think this deserves to be celebrated with a beautiful campaign that I hope will transport audiences at home to the City of Love.”

Fx Goby, director at Nexus Studios, believes the film epitomises craftsmanship. “Achieving its elegant final design required hundreds of hours, meticulously refining frame by frame, to preserve the essence of the original designs. Unlike typical 2D animation that relies on outlines, we used light and shadow to suggest volume, effectively recreating each illustration 25 times per second.”

The film premiere on BBC One during the EUROs programming and Olympics programming will air from 26 July on BBC One.

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