Pick of the Week: BBC’s Tokyo Olympics ad is better than the Covid-tinged reality

This sumptuous film promoting the BBC’s coverage of the forthcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo whisks viewers away on a magical mystery tour of the city.

The ad magically reimagines the vibrant host city
The ad magically reimagines the vibrant host city

While our attention is firmly on our footballing heroes (well, England fans, that is), this joyful ad promoting the BBC’s coverage of the Olympic Games is a fabulous reminder of the festival of sport starting later this month.

Rich in detail, “Let’s go there” takes the viewer on a hyperreal journey through Tokyo, celebrating its eclectic pop culture and weaving in glimpses of some of the best Team GB athletes.

It’s one of those ads you watch, then instantly want to rewatch and pause to appreciate everything that’s going on.

A Kenny cycling shrine, KTJ figurines in a Gachapon parlour and track rivals transformed into Manga-style video-game fighters are among the gems in this visual feast.

It almost made me forget about the ongoing debate around whether the games should happen at all amid rising cases of Covid in Tokyo and the distinct lack of enthusiasm for hosting them among the Japanese public.

Perhaps the only problem with this film is that it could overpromise and underdeliver. One of my colleagues quipped: “Sadly, I feel like the ad will be better than the actual coverage.” We’ll see whether they’re proved right in a few weeks’ time.


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