BBC warms up for Winter Olympics in icy spot, but no mention of China

The ad makes no mention of 2022 Winter Olympics host, China.

The BBC has finally launched its first ad for the 2022 Winter Olympics, which kicks off in 10 days.

Developed by BBC Creative, the first spot is a mixed-media animation piece, which combines stop-motion, in-camera effects and 3D-printed frames.

It starts with a simple ice cube in the middle of a room. Cracking, the ice slowly reveals the outlines of a moving figure, speed-skating. The stop-motion figure slides, skis and snowboards across the screen. Moving back to the cube, an elegant figure-skater spins on the spot.

Lastly, the video shows a selection of ice sculptures, frozen mid-movement and a voiceover says: “The Olympic Winter Games. Extreme by nature.”

The ad, which made its debut on Saturday (22 January) during Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel on BBC One, is part of a campaign intended to build excitement for the BBC’s coverage of this year’s games.

Directed by Balázs Simo, the video was created by animation studio BlinkInk and film studio Glassworks. Music was provided by Gas Music.

Posting on LinkedIn, BBC Creative called it a “proper labour of love for everyone involved”.

A simple ad, it makes no mention of host country China, which is facing a deluge of controversy around human rights abuses, among other issues. Late last year, a handful of US tech companies – LinkedIn, Yahoo and Epic Games – left China amid increasingly difficult censorship and data protection laws.

Top sponsors for the Winter Olympics 2022 include Coca-Cola, Samsung and Toyota.

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