BBC rewrites Greek mythology for Athens Olympics ad

LONDON – A universal Olympic hero sets out on a journey to the Olympic stadium and is trialled by Hercules, Hermes and Poseidon in the BBC's biggest ad campaign of the year to promote the Athens Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The contemporary take on Greek mythology was created by Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters. A teaser campaign breaks on July 4 in the half-time break of the BBC's Euro 2004 Final and during the Wimbledon Men's Final.

A 60-second and 40-second cut-down version will then follow on July 17.

Under the strapline 'Legends will be rewritten', an Olympic hero sets out on a journey to the Olympic stadium and en route is put to the test by the Gods on Mount Olympus. Only by successfully completing trials against the mythological immortals Hercules, Hermes and Poseidon can the hero enter the stadium and win the adulation of the crowd.

The story, which uses special effects, is designed to mirror those of all of the athletes taking part who have overcome personal demons and incredible obstacles to be at their best to compete, regardless of medal expectations.

The hero athletes are played by Steve Agyei and in the Paralympic version, Khristos Kapelas. The Mount Olympus characters of Zeus and Hera are played by Philip Voss and Tracy Ray, while Hermes is played by Mark Webb.

Passion Pictures has produced the animated creations of Hermes, Herciles and Poseidon.

Additional trails will also communicate that this is the world's first interactive Olympics on the BBC, while a reworked version of the campaign has also been produced for the Paralympics.

The films were shot on location in Kythra, Greece and written by Simon Riley at DFGW. Sarah Caddy at BBC Broadcast produced the film and it was directed by Camille Bovier-Lapierre from Passion Paris. Animation was created by teams at Passion Paris and Passion Pictures in London.

Simon Riley, creative director at DFGW, said: "With the games going back to Greece, the story pretty much wrote itself. The birthplace of legend, mythology and epic, heroic stories... there were plenty of sources for inspiration."

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