London 2012: BBC gives first sight of Olympic titles


The BBC's Olympics titles transform the landscape of the United Kingdom into a giant sporting arena

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The BBC has unveiled the title sequence and marketing campaign for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

A 60-second trail was broadcast during half-time in the Euro 2012 final.

Based on a "Stadium UK" concept, the animation will be seen on television coverage and used on computers, mobiles, tablets and connected TV.

The track, First Steps by Elbow, will be available as a digital-only download from 27 July with all profits going to BBC Children in Need and Sport Relief.

The UK is seen as a giant stadium with Olympic athletes preparing and competing in a range of landscapes.

Scenes include:

  • Swimmers battling it out in lanes created by buoys on a net cast by a fisherman
  • A BMX rider preparing at the edge of a cliff
  • Track cyclists racing around quarries
  • Sprinters and gymnasts going through their paces on streets
Still from BBC Olympics trail

BBC 2012 marketing head Louisa Fyans said the challenge had been to create a campaign reflecting the BBC's unique role as the UK's Olympic broadcaster and the scale of the Olympic Games.

"Animation enabled us to deliver to this brief and helped us create something really special for the BBC's London 2012 campaign," she added.

The concept was devised by creative agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe Y&R. The animation was created by Passion Pictures and it was produced by Red Bee Media.

Alison Hoad, joint chief executive of Rainey Kelly, said national anticipation had been building since London was awarded the Games in 2005.

Guy Garvey Guy Garvey's Elbow have foregone fees and royalties

The agency had tried to capture national pride and excitement by depicting the UK as one huge stadium, with an "epic" anthem scored by Elbow.

Lead singer Guy Garvey told BBC 6 Music it was "a real honour and a total surprise" to have been asked.

"The BBC asked us to come in and consult. They said, 'if we asked you to do the Olympic theme, what would you do?'

During the meeting, Garvey was told he had been invited along because of Elbow's 2008 single One Day Like This, which has been used on countless sport montages.

"So I said, 'well, we can give you something similarly rousing. Something anthemic and bold. And we'd put lots of different parts in it for different parts of the coverage.'

"The Olympic Games is about the coming together of people to celebrate our best athletes and it was as important to have a sympathetic theme for the losers as it was for the winners."

"It was like a great big puzzle to put together."

The track was performed with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the NovaVox gospel choir.

Elbow have waived all fees and royalties from the digital download and the retailers have waived all profits from the release.

The full 2min 40secs version of the the trail will be broadcast at 19.30 BST on Tuesday 3 July on BBC One with 60, 40, 30 and five second edits used throughout the campaign.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    do we really live in an Avatar world ............

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    Hmm. I'm actually not sure about this one. Still, I like how it celebrates aspects of the British Isles that we take for granted.

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    Elbow have certainly delivered on the musical score,, love it!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    Didn't know Disney/Pixar were also sponsors, I thought there might a British one in there somewhere.

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    58. Kes
    My gran (rest her soul) always said "if you haven't got anything nice (or constructive) to say, then don't say anything at all."
    Funny, so did mine and she was wrong too. Fate or coincidence? You decide?

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    My gran (rest her soul) always said "if you haven't got anything nice (or constructive) to say, then don't say anything at all." It's always served me well and helped me look for the positives in life.

    Best of luck to all the Olympians from around the world competing at London 2012. I'll be unleashing my inner child and jumping into his once in a lifetime experience with both feet!

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    Has Steve Wright been put in charge of language at the BBC? I like the sequence, but why is it now described as a trail rather than a trailer? Just had to sit through the excruciating commentary for the Euro 2012 final where the players are no longer Spanish or Italian but, for instance, "the Spain Goalkeeper". The populace says 2000 and 6, but BBC commentators say 2000-6. Why?!

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    I love it

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.




  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    That diver around the 20 second mark doesn't even look human. And look how skinny his legs are compared to the rest of his body. lol.

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    47. earthmikey99
    ...Looks like they and their type have stayed in tonight to comment here! (rest of post cut for reasons of boredom)
    I thought it looked very good, but personally I am sick of the Olympics. Yes it is my right to say this as a licence payer! I suspect I will be called this, that or the other. Tough! I am entitled to voice being heard also.

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    Morons will be morons. This won't cost much - you underestimate how good technology is these days.

    Furthermore, if you don't like the olympics, don't open the pages about them. People don't care that you don't care.

    Personally, I really liked it. Good job.

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    I like the fact we can critique art for a change here. Nice for the beeb to let us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    30. Scouseblue76
    8 Minutes ago
    Great, more Olympics propaganda they are shoving down ours necks! Am I going to have to avoid the BBC completely until this is all over?

    So what are you doing on a BBC website then?
    Where else would you place a rant against the BBC? Besides; since when did these pages become pro comments only?

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    Pretty cool... although it did look a little like those massive North Korean paintings their dear leaders stand in front of.

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    Can we actually be proud about something for a change without most people moaning about how much it's costing, who it's being 'sponsored' by etc etc. For once, I'm actually proud to be British. There's very little in recent years where many of us can say that. Well done BBC and Guy Garvey. It's fitting visually with music to inspire. Let the games begin!

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    Ha ha - hilarious to read the usual negative comments... On Friday, I witnessed the torch relay celebrations and subsequent parade and party in Derby. An absolutely amazing atmosphere with about 30,000 people. Went for last orders at our local, where 3 miserable bar proppers moaned about what a waste of money it all is. Looks like they and their type have stayed in tonight to comment here!

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    I like the way this blends the Olympic events with the some spectacular scenery and the way the whole sequence fits together. Pretty good.

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    It's trying to be too understated and British, completely missing the point that this is London 2012, and that London is a global city for the global games. It also avoids any contemporary design that could be used to reinforce that position. Shame - we've got a lot to be proud of here and should be making more noise about it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    The world is watching GB this summer. Let's start rallying around and be proud of what is being achieved.

    Well done BBC, I love it.


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