BBC’s Commonwealth Video games spot celebrates the spirit of Brum

Animation by Lobster Studios

Ahead of this year’s Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham, the BBC is putting the host city front and centre of its spot promoting coverage of the tournament.

Named It’s A Brum Ting, the animated ad references sports stars like Dina Asher-Smith, Adam Peaty and Laura Kenny, alongside nods to famous faces outside of sport who hail from Birmingham, such as Lenny Henry, Cat Deeley, Guz Khan, and even Peaky Blinders protagonist Tommy Shelby. It’s set to the hooky song of the same name by local reggae and dancehall group Friendly Fire Band.

“The more you dig into the story of Birmingham, the more gems you discover. From its rich industrial heritage, its music scene, food scene, the icons of entertainment that hail from there, and the diverse communities that have come to call it home,” says BBC Creative’s head of production James Wood.

Directed by Kode’s Harry Cauty, the spot comprises live action moments and a blend of animation styles thanks to a variety of studios and animators, including Lobster, Birmingham-born Ikki Dhesi, Smoking Hippo and locally based studio Yamination.

Still image of a collaged scene of two runners in It's a Brum TingAnimation by Smoking Hippo
Still image of a stop motion animation in It's a Brum Ting, showing fireworks exploding over a stadium in BirminghamAnimation by Yamination Studios

“Where the BBC wanted to represent as many people and places as possible, I wanted to do the same when it came to the animation team behind the film,” said Cauty.

It’s a deft balance between polished 2D animation, cartoon aesthetics, scrappy collage and a charming stop motion build to top it all off.

Agency: BBC Creative
ECD: Rasmus Smith Bech
Production Studio: Kode
Director: Harry Cauty
Animation Studios: Lobster, Anthony Farquhar-Smith, Ikki Dhesi, Yamination