The 2008 Beijing Olympics
on the BBC
BBC Sport collaborates with Jamie Hewlett and
Damon Albarn for Beijing Olympics
BBC Sport's marketing campaign and titles
for the forthcoming Olympic Games will be
based upon the traditional Chinese folklore
Journey To The West. The campaign, which
will air in late July, will include animations and
music especially produced by Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn.
BBC Sport Executive Producer, Jonathan
Bramley, and the Head of Marketing and
Communications, Louisa Fyans, decided to
produce an integrated titles and marketing
campaign based on the folklore Journey To
The West for the Beijing Olympics.
"This has been a really exciting collaboration
– to work with such renowned artists as
Jamie and Damon is a real plus for BBC
Sport. Their treatment of the trail and titles
will kick-start our Olympic coverage in a
really different, energetic way," says Jonathan.
Tim Davie, Director, Marketing Communications & Audiences, BBC,
added: "It is inspiring to team up with such
talented people as Jamie and Damon, and it
reflects our commitment to truly groundbreaking
creative work. I think audiences are
going to see a fantastic campaign."
Hewlett and Albarn worked alongside the
BBC to adapt Journey To The West, an epic
quest for enlightenment, into the Olympic
trail and titles. The London-based pair
developed the animation and music especially
for the BBC. The campaign features the
characters of Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy using
Olympic sports on their journey to Beijing
and the Bird's Nest stadium. The sports
represented include gymnastics, hammer,
sprinting and diving.
"The idea is that you tell the entire story of
Journey To The West in a two-minute opening
sequence, which is basically them on their way
to the Olympic stadium, the Bird's Nest
stadium," says artist/designer Jamie Hewlett.
The Beijing Olympics marketing campaign
features promotional activity across TV, radio,
online, mobile and interactive. It will also
appear throughout the Beijing Olympics programming
via title sequences, in programme graphics
and set design. A two-minute sequence
being created that will be played out in
60, 50, 30, 20 and 10 second versions,
which will be used for trails and titles.
BBC Sport Marketing worked with retained
agency RKCR to develop the strategic
direction and creative realisation of the idea.
Red Bee Media produced the trails and title
sequence with Zombie Flesh Eaters and
The aim is to target younger audiences
through high-profile websites such as
Facebook, Bebo, MSN and social networking
sites as well as mobile activity.
The folklore is based on characters taken
from the story of Monkey King, one of the
four classic novels written by Wu Chen-en
during the Ming Dynasty (1500-1584).
The story has many layers of meaning and
may be read on many different levels
such as a quest, fantasy, personal search for
self-cultivation, or a political/social satire.
The story is an account of a monk, Xuan
Zang (602-664) who went to India in the
seventh century to seek Buddhist scriptures
to bring back to China.