Advertisement Genre: Entertainment
Broadcast Area: UK: National
Studio Facilities: Unavailable
OB Facilities: Unavailable
Production Company: Park Pictures
Design/Marketing/Post: MPC, Stitch, String and Tins
Music: Unavailable
Set Design: Unavailable
Software: Unavailable
Hardware: Unavailable

On 1st June 2018, Virgin Media launched a major new campaign that brought to life the benefits of its super broadband speeds and super entertainment offering.

The multi-million pound campaign, Switch to Super, saw Usain Bolt ‘suit up’ and transform into an animated superhero. It was originally intended to run for eight weeks across TV, VOD, press, radio, online and social but was still in use by late-2018.  The campaign was spearheaded by a TV ad which launched on Friday 1st June at 7.55pm before Britain’s Got Talent on ITV.

Created by BBH London, the campaign dramatised the benefits of switching to Virgin Media and getting super broadband speeds and super entertainment. It was underpinned by Virgin Media doubling the broadband speed of selected best-selling bundles for new customers for free.

The TV ad featured actor, screenwriter and director, Richard E. Grant, as an expert English tailor, and centred around Usain Bolt’s sartorial journey to find the perfect superhero suit. The ‘suit up’ story, created to reflect similar suit up scenes from classic superhero movies, saw the on-screen chemistry between the two bring a light-hearted and humorous feel to the film.

The film was shot by the hugely talented director, Tom Tagholm, in an East London studio, designed to mirror a quintessential British tailors. Shot long and edited in quick cuts to reflect the fast-paced style of many superhero films, the energetic TV ad was accompanied by VOD, press, online and social activity planned and bought by Manning Gottlieb OMD, as well as supporting material on Virgin Media’s social channels and PR activity.

Jeff Dodds, managing director of consumer and mobile at Virgin Media, said: “Speed is the super power at the core of Virgin Media. It’s the kryptonite to our competitors and what makes our services stand out. Our new campaign, with Usain Bolt front and centre, brings to life our super speeds, super entertainment and super value for our customers.”

Ben Fennell, CEO of BBH, said: “The Switch to Super campaign sees Usain Bolt transform into a superhero.  We think it will make for a hugely entertaining and hardworking campaign. It is big, bold and larger than life – just like Usain.”

The campaign idea is rooted in the rich and varied genre of superheroes and highlights Virgin Media’s fibre broadband and entertainment offering. The film demonstrates that switching to Virgin Media will deliver super broadband speeds, super entertainment and super value and is set to a specially composed track.

VIDEO: Virgin Media Bundles – Switch to Super advertisement (November 2018 version).

Other Credit Information

Managing Director of Consumer: Jeff Dodds Director of Brand: Lloyd Page
Head of Advertising: Amy Gilbert Senior Marketing Manager: Lawrence Hamilton
Creative: Simon Cenamor [BBH] Creative: Ray Chan [BBH]
Creative Director: Hamish Pinnell [BBH] Strategy Director: Richard Madden [BBH]
Strategist: Ed Kurland [BBH] Business Lead: Holly Ripper [BBH]
Account Manager: Matt Sims [BBH] Senior Account Director: Laura Brady [BBH]
Producer: Jemima Bowers [BBH] Animation Producer: Matt Towell [BBH]
Assistant Producer: Fatima Kried [BBH] Executive Producer: Stephen Brierley
Producer: Fran Thompson Production Designer: Ricky Eyres
Costume Designer: Mr Gammon Costume Assistant: Gabrielle Edmunds
Cameo Appearance: Usain Bolt Actor: Richard E. Grant
Director: Tom Tagholm