BBC to conduct marketing campaign around the Olympics

MUMBAI: BBC has announced that BBC Sport‘s marketing campaign for the forthcoming Olympic Games in China 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.

BBC Sport executive producer Jonathan Bramley said, "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."

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 will feature 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.

Artist/designer Jamie Hewlett said, "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 Birds‘ Nest stadium."

The Beijing Olympics marketing campaign will feature promotional activity across TV, radio, online, mobile and interactive. It will also play throughout the Beijing Olympics programming via title sequences, in programme graphics and set design.

A two-minute sequence is being created that will be played out in full as well as 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 Flesheaters and Passion Pictures.

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 7th Century to seek Buddhist scriptures to bring back to China.

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