Virgin Mobile Russell Provokes Exciting Ads

Voting closes at midnight tonight for the makeover of Virgin Mobile’s ‘Russell’ television ads for SMS and calling deals in Australia. Russell, in the first two ads, stands behind a placard, talking with a monotone voice. The TV campaign is complemented with a set of print advertisements and (boring) instore posters.

Russell at Virgin Mobile


“If you like talking as much as me, get a new Virgin mobile motormouth recharge voucher and call anyone in Oz at anytime at 10 cents a minute. Wow! Voiceover and Super: “Since the making of this ad Virgin Mobile has introduced a new policy to make our ads as exciting as our offers. So, we need your help. Deci Russell here will should do and we’ll make it. Choose options like film genre, costume and more. Vote now at or 0403 YOUR AD.” Click on the image below to play the video.

Super Skinny

“Do you enjoy chatting as much as me? Then grab the super skinny pre-paid Motorola V3 from Virgin Mobile for just $299. Call.” The voiceover is similar to the first ad, with the following variation: “Should we force Russell here to read the offer whilst dressed as a spaceman or a furry animal?”. Click on the image below to play the video.

Virgin Mobile Phone Voting

Voting started at on April 26 and closes tonight. Viewers will able to shape the next ad, which will air on the ‘Seriously Short Break’ during House on 17 May. There’s an opportunity to register to receive news on the emerging TV ad campaign.

Virgin Mobile Exciting Options

Choices available are limited however:
Genre: War Epic, Western, Thriller and Period Drama
Costume: Space Suit, Geisha, Furry Animal, Birthday Suit
Co-Star: Pig on a lead, Ventriloquist Dummy, Nun on a Piano, Cabbage
Music: Metal, Disco, RnB, Techno.


The campaign has been developed by Virgin Mobile’s regular agency and production company: Host and The Glue Society, the same combo who produced the Warren, 5 Cent and Jason Donovan campaigns. Host and Glue Society will have ten days to film Russell in the chosen genre. Glue Society team included art director Luke Crethar, copywriter Matt Devine and director Jonathan Kneebone. The Host team included account director Tom Hull, project manager Mitch O`Donohue, producer Emma Friend, account executive Will Herron. THe Virgin Mobile team included Rich Field (General Manager – Brand) and David Cain (Manager Brand and Communications).

Michael, the actor behind the Russell character, has his own MySpace web site – Oh What a Mindblast!”


See my post on May 17 on the new Exciting Ad. The campaign won a Bronze Direct Lion at the Cannes International Advertising Festival 2007.