Game On

July 3, 2012 / Signed/Unsigned

By Alex Reeves

The Olympic ads just all arrived at once. And they're big.

Are you sick of hearing about the London 2012 Olympic Games yet? We hope not because there’s a whole lot yet to come. After a steady trickle of commercials since the beginning of the year, the Olympic river seems to have burst its banks recently. We’ve suddenly become flooded with Games-related ads.

All of these films were made for official sponsors or affiliates of London 2012, as competitors aren’t allowed anywhere near the O word. But it certainly seems that in these penny-pinching times clients are bring out slightly bigger budgets to promote their support for the festivities with spectacular TV spots.

Whether you love or hate the Games, here is some new work that suggests the Olympics are stimulating some big campaigns for the industry to get working on:


Adidas, Great Britain Take The Stage
Created by Sid Lee

Being the official sportswear sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic Games is a pretty big deal and Adidas are certainly making the most of it. Created by Sid Lee, the latest commercial in their Take the Stage campaign takes Adidas’ usual star-studded approach, flaunting the great hopes of British Olympic talent, including Jess Ennis, Phillips Idowu, Tom Daley and Louis Smith.

The ad alludes to the personal battles that the athletes have faced in the course of their careers, evoking the ever-powerful theme of triumph over adversity. It’s nothing dazzlingly new, but it’s executed beautifully.

With all its rabble-rousing rhetoric and emotional extreme close-ups the film might even stir up some sort of patriotism – quite an achievement when your audience is the most cynical nation on Earth.

Product: Adidas
Title: Great Britain Take The Stage
Production Company: Prettybird, Jimmy Lee
Ad Agency: Sid Lee
Editing Company: Cut + Run, Jimmy Lee


BBC, Stadium UK
Directed by Pete Candeland, Passion Pictures

The BBC aren’t sponsors of the Olympics, but as the sole British broadcaster of the Games they had to run a pretty exceptional trailer. Turning to director Pete Candeland of Passion Pictures, one of the main figures behind the Gorillaz, they’ve certainly got the trailer their coverage deserves.

The video available online is the 60-second version but the BBC have also got a full-length trailer that runs for 2 minutes 40 seconds, for when they need to go even more epic.

Passion’s team have created an incredibly rich and fantastical world, which is important because by the end of the summer those who weren’t lucky/rich enough to bag themselves tickets will probably have seen the trailer hundreds of times.

Product: BBC London 2012 Olympic Games
Title: Stadium UK
Production Company: Passion Pictures, Red Bee Media
Director: Pete Candeland
Producer: Lottie Hope, Anna Lord (Passion), Sarah Caddy, Jane Hunt (Red Bee Media)
Ad Agency: RKCR/Y&R
Creative Director: Damon Collins
Art Director: Mario Ucci, Rick Thiele
Editor: Anne Monnehat, Jamie Foord


British Airways, London 2012
Directed by Michael Geoghegan, Partizan

One of the first of the Olympic epics to hit our screens a couple of weeks ago, this commercial has a pretty daring message for an airline ad: stay at home and support the Games. Of course the airline have paid for their place as an official partner and now they’re putting in all they can to make the most of that marketing opportunity.

Driving a jumbo jet through the capital’s streets was an inspired move, displaying some masterful post production from Framestore. It’s the kind of spectacular that people remember and the campaign has ensured this by creating an innovative online version allowing you to use your postcode to customise the film.

Product: British Airways
Title: London 2012
Production Company: Partizan
Director: Michael Geoghegan
Production Producer: David Stewart
Ad Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Creative Director: Justin Moore, Hamish Pinnell
Editing Company: Stitch
Editor: Leo Kin


BT Infinity, Internet Café
Directed by Jonny Campbell, Mustard

Continuing its soap-style series, BT are hinting at their Olympic partner status in a slightly more understated fashion. There are no athletes here pushing their bodies to the limit, just a bunch of attractive Spanish girls pushing their bodies into the youngsters’ new flat to use their broadband connection.

It’s not quite as lavish as its fellow Games-centric ads, but Mustard’s Jonny Campbell has made a charming commercial here that will stand out from the barrage of patriotism we’re likely to get over the coming weeks.

Product: BT Infinity
Title: Internet Café
Production Company: Mustard
Director: Jonny Campbell
Production Producer: Doochy Moult
Ad Agency: AMV
Creative Director: Mike Hannett / Dave Buchanan
Art Director: Gary Lathwell
Copywriter: Richard Peretti
Agency Producer: Lou Richardson
Editing Company: Loaded Dice
Editor: Simon Wilcox

Comments (5)

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