BBC’s Olympic ad is a love story – about sport

The broadcaster’s animated trailer for its Paris 2024 coverage nods to the city’s romantic associations, which are likened to athletes’ passion for their discipline

The BBC’s Olympic ad is laden with references to Paris’ reputation as one of the most romantic places in the world. Here, they’re used as an analogy for the lengths that athletes go to in order to pursue their dreams.

The film features everything from a candlelit bath in the glow of the Sacré-Cœur that turns out to be filled with ice, to a couple riding on scooter, which gives way to competitive cyclists. There are clichés aplenty, but they have at least put a small twist on them.

The film was created by BBC Creative in partnership with Nexus Studios and animation director Fx Goby, who has previously made work for Meta, Google, and multiple Gorillaz projects.

“This film epitomises craftsmanship,” says Goby. “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 ad is soundtracked by Hymne a l’amour by Edith Piaf, whose voice is practically shorthand for French romance. The song was inspired by her lover, Marcel Cerdan, a famous French boxer, bringing it full circle with the sporting theme.

Agency: BBC Creative
Director, BBC Creative: Justin Bairamian
ECD: Rasmus Smith Bech
Creative Directors: Tom Espezel, Nina Beyers
Creatives: Paul Bailey, Russell Hendrie
Production Company: Nexus Studios
Director: Fx Goby
Sound: Factory
Music Supervision: Siren
Editing: Pictureshop