Entertainment & Arts

London 2012: BBC gives first sight of Olympic titles

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.

More on this story

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites