Ordinary life mirrors the Winter Olympics in first IOC work from Uncommon

The London agency joins the roster for the International Olympic Committee

Published On
Jan 26, 2022

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The International Olympic Committee has appointed London's Uncommon Creative Studio to create the ad campaign for the Beijing Winter Olympics, now just days away from opening on February 4.

The cinematic film, which breaks today, depicts ordinary people around the world mirroring the movements of Olympians. It emphasizes the relationship between the Games and viewers across the world, intercutting footage from previous Winter Olympic events with scenes of viewers caught up in the drama of the sports.

Commuters on an escalator crouch down in empathy as a bobsled sets off down a track; schoolkids sway from side to side as they watch it descend a track; construction workers fly through the air like snowboarders and people in a city square dance in formation like ice skaters.

The ad also showcases sports including curling, ice hockey, speed skating, skiing and more, with the movements of the athletes mirrored by people out on the streets, in business meetings and in cafes. We see their crashes and smashes echoed too before the film ends on a note of victory and the words: "Every rise. Every fall. Every Victory. We're in it together."

Running online and on broadcast, it's the first ad for the Games from Uncommon. Matt McKie, head of global marketing for the Olympics, confirmed to Ad Age in an email that Uncommon is now on its roster.

Uncommon joins a number of other unspecified agencies on the IOC's roster. Its co-founder Leonard has worked with McKie previously in McKie's role as Nike's brand director for football. 

The spot, directed by Salomon Ligthelm of Prettybird U.K., continues the "Stronger Together" campaign from the IOC, which debuted ahead of the Summer Olympics in 2021. The original push was created via Canadian agency Hulse & Durrell.  

‘Winter sports are spectacular, delivering inspiration and action in equal measures," said McKie in a statement. "In this short film, continuing the #StrongerTogether campaign, we wanted to highlight that spectacle while also shining a light on the relationship between fans and athletes—and how the power of that connection brings the world together.’"

“We believe there’s a truth in saying winter sports have an added layer of vulnerability—the natural environment is often harsher, the falls can be more frequent—the suspense of it all couldn't be more compelling," added Nils Leonard, co-founder of Uncommon. "We don’t just tune in to watch athletes win, we want to watch them rise on a global stage."

The push aims to drum up some excitement ahead of the Winter Games. It arrives, however, as big advertisers including Coca-Cola have held back from launching their own campaigns amid scrutiny of the Games tied to China's human rights record.