Combine two charismatic, loved-by-everyone personalities, and you’ll get a hell of a campaign. That’s exactly what DDB London has achieved, pairing up Usain Bolt and Sir Richard Branson, to promote Virgin Media’s launch of twice as fast broadband Internet service in the UK.
The campaign is rolling out big time, covering TV, social media, and print advertising (billboards and press), all under a new Virgin Media slogan: “Keep Up”. The company is investing approximately £110m to double the Internet speed of their consumers over the next 18 months. Several short videos had been created for the campaign (under the direction of Horrible Bosses’ creator Seth Gordon), currently uploaded on the campaigns YouTube channel. The TV spot, which can also be viewed on the channel is launching on Saturday night, during ITV1′s Take Me Out dating show.
Jeff Dodds,Virgin Media’s executive director of brand and marketing communications, explained the campaigns intentions:
“We’ve got a long history of giving our customers more and we wanted to let them know about the exciting boost they’ll soon get from us. Our competitors’ customers might also feel a twinge of envy when they hear about this as what better spokesperson for our super fast broadband than Usain Bolt? He’s the living embodiment of speed! It’s a brilliantly simple idea but the trick was to avoid the obvious sportsman endorsement clichés. This is where DDB UK has done us proud by taking a refreshing, and typically Virgin self-deprecating and cheeky approach to the brief.”
The videos first appeared on Twitter under a hashtag #IAmRBranson, but were followed by Sir Richard Branson’s tweets where he tried to explain that he was, in fact, Richard Branson:
Quite a funny way to launch a campaign, isn’t it? Take a look at the TV spot debuting on Saturday (notice the subtle references to Virgin Music and Galactic companies through the props appearing in the video):