Earlier in the year we began conversations with the BBC’s retained agency RKCR/Y&R about their forthcoming campaign for the BBC’s Rio Olympics coverage. Together we investigated musical styles, with and without lyrics, and what possible lyrical themes for the campaign could be.

Following much research, Native narrowed down a shortlist of artists that the agency thought were right for the project. One of the artists the agency loved was Jamie N Commons.

We were then tasked with reaching out to Jamie’s label. We auditioned a selection of his tracks and came to the conclusion that one of them stood out as being perfectly aligned with where the creative brief was heading. The track was called “Not Gonna Break Me”

At this stage we were still exploring options and talking to other labels and artists, but it was this track that eventually stood out from all others. It had the slow powerful brooding tempo and epic scale the trail required, while at the same time having a very apt lyrical theme about overcoming adversity.

The track had to be adapted to picture to create the right dynamic journey, and although Jamie did the majority of the structural changes and musical additions, we worked alongside him and did additional production for the opening layers and the orchestral arrangement to really give it the olympic scale that the team wanted. We also worked with Jamie’s excellent production team in LA who adapted the track for the titles… which will be revealed soon.

If that wasn’t epic enough, we helped Jamie create the wider broadcast package, with a number of alternative versions, stings and idents produced to be applied across the multitiude of BBC broadcast channels and online sites.

Jamie was fantastic to work with, and happy to try new ideas if we felt the picture needed more here, or less there. We are massively grateful to him for his flexibility during the whole process.

This has been a dream project, and made possible by clients with vision, an agency with huge creative drive, and an artist who allowed us unprecedented access to his excellent material. It was a gargantuan team effort, the results of which we think live up to the scale of the forthcoming event.

Bring on the Games!