The BBC's World Cup promo is a massive Russian-inspired animated tapestry

Film animated by Blinkink contains more than 600 frames of tapestry

Published On
May 21, 2018

Editor's Pick

The BBC was inspired by the centuries-old Russian tradition of tapestry for its World Cup 2018 promo -- it has created an incredible, intricate animated tapestry of the tournament's history, as well as a real-life work of embroidery.

The animated launch film "The Tapestry," created by BBC Creative with BBC Sport Marketing and directed by Nicos Livesey of Blinkink, takes the viewer on a journey through iconic moments from World Cup's past, from Diego Maradona's ball skills to Paul Gascoigne's tears and through to the current team lineup.

In a modernization of the traditional tapestry technique, every single frame of the film has been individually embroidered. More than 227,000 metres of thread were used to create over 600 frames of tapestry, that if laid end-to-end would measure over 1,200 metres in length. The idea will be fully realized in an actual seven-metre long tapestry that will be put on public display at the National Football Museum. Moments from this year's competition will be added to the tapestry after the tournament's completion, creating a historical record of the 2018 World Cup.

The visual style and music has a strong Russian theme--from imagery that resembles Soviet-era propoganda art to the soundtrack of Ochi Cheryne - a traditional Russian folk song sung by bass-baritone Sir John Tomlinson alongside a 40-piece orchestra.

The lyrics speak of unification and friendship-- however, given the current tension between the U.K. and Russia, whether that will be the theme of this year's World Cup remains to be seen. No U.K. government officials or members of royal family will be present at the tournament, and there will be no English referees.

This isn't the first time an advertising tale has been told through embroidery, however. Tourism Ireland and HBO last year wove the entire "Game of Thrones" saga onto 66 meters of fine Irish linen.


May 21, 2018
Brand :
Agency :
BBC Sport/BBC Creative
Campaign Planner :
David Wheadon
Media Portfolio Lead :
Marc Jones
Executive Creative Director :
Aidan McClure
Executive Creative Director :
Laurent Simon
Creative Director :
Tim Jones
Creative Director :
James Cross
Creative :
Edward Usher
Creative :
Xander Hart
Producer :
Liz Dolan
Project Manager :
Loretta Ramkissoon
Production Coordinator :
Emma Hamilton
Head of Planning :
Mike Lean
Production :
Director :
Nicos Livesey
Producer :
Alex Halley
Executive Producer :
Bart Yates
Designer :
Luke Carpenter
Creative Head of Design :
Laurence Honderick
Composer :
Alex Baranowski
Vocals :
Sir John Tomlinson
Mix and Sound Design :
Mark Hills
Sound Design :
Sound Design and Mix :
Anthony Moore
Audio Producer :
Lucy Spong

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