The BBC has unveiled the trail launching the 16th series of Strictly Come Dancing: a Fred Astaire-inspired dance skit featuring a pair of fancy red heels and a set of brogues thrown out onto the street.
The film opens on a rainy night outside a second-hand shop, where the brogues have been unceremoniously dumped. The scarlet shoes totter past – keeping dry under an umbrella – but retrace their steps on sight of the distressed brown lace-ups.
The polished pair attempts to strike up a dance with impressive tap steps, yet the brogues haughtily turn away. Nevertheless, the red shoes persist until the brown soles get tapping along, and the two perform a fantastical routine for the bric-a-brac on sale in the street’s shop windows to enjoy.
BBC Creative, the in-house agency behind the trail, scripted the film for Brits who may hide their love of dancing, but experience the joy of movement to music when Strictly returns to TV.
“The trail was always going to be about the joy of dancing,” said creatives Rachel Miles and Michael Tsim in a statement. “We wanted to create a film that reminds audiences of how good it feels when Strictly is back on, and how much happiness it can bring when you lose yourself to dance.”
In a break from the BBC’s recent animated trails, the film was created through a mix of live action and CGI in post-production. Professional dancers lay down a number of the steps, before being removed so only their shoes remained.
The trail is more conceptual than previous Strictly launches, with the mix of CGI and live action echoing the faceless humour of Channel 4’s Bake Off promos. And if the magical realism of the dance evokes the emotion of Apple’s Christmas 2017 spot, Sway, it’s because Sam Brown directed both spots.
He said: “It sounds counterintuitive, but we found that removing the people from the shoes helped us wring the emotion out of the dance. I wanted to keep it feeling really human and by looking at the shoes you can really feel what the person is doing and thinking.”