One year ago, following the final episode of the Attenborough-narrated cold-climes series Frozen Planet, the BBC aired a two-minute trailer subtly celebrating the 60-odd years that the iconic TV personality has spent working on non-fiction programming for the network. Visually, the spot, from ad agency RKCR/Y&R, doesn’t deviate far from the staple shots of most natural science shows. Brightly colored birds, time lapses of blooming flowers, panoramas of majestic terrain, and pensive baboons all make their obligatory appearances. How can you not love this? It’s surprising and clever, yet also dignified. The only words in it are from the song ” What a Wonderful World” written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss, and of course made famous by Louie Armstrong. This works so well because Attenborough speaks the lyrics—pleasant platitudes that we’ve almost stopped noticing, as the song has become audio wallpaper—in his signature cadence of wonder and delight. This renews our appreciation both of the song, and the power of Attenborough’s delivery. And of course, it’s all done to support stunning footage of nature, nicely edited with subtle sound effects to match the pictures. More than the sum of its parts. “It’s a wonderful world, watch it with us,” reads the BBC trailer’s tagline. Fantastic.
Advertising Agency: RKCR/Y&R, UK
Executive Creative Director: Mark Roalfe
Creatives: Ted Heath, Paul Angus