Virgin Media‘s advertising campaign featuring Usain Bolt and Richard Branson was ordered off British screens after the UK Advertising Standards Authority ruled that Virgin could not deliver on its promises of a superfast broadband service. The Olympics gold medallist sprinter appeared in a series of ads in January 2012 claiming to be Richard Branson, saying bye bye to buffering and hello to a superfast broadband. Richard Branson’s Twitter handle was taken over by Usain Bolt with various videos of Bolt in the Virgin founder’s office spreading across the web. The campaign is still online at the Virgin Media BB 2012 Youtube channel.
A Virgin Media spokeswoman said that the tone of the TV ad was clearly light-hearted and that the company was not making an “absolute claim” about the end of buffering. “When one of the world’s leading athletes dresses up as a world famous entrepreneur, complete with stuck-on blond beard and space helmet, and says he wants everyone to ‘wave bye-bye’ to buffering – this should not be taken as an absolute claim that no Virgin Media customer will ever experience buffering ever again,” she said.
Click on the image below to play the Double Speed video in YouTube (HD)
Click on the image below to play the Fastest Wireless video in YouTube (HD)
Click on the image below to play the Bye Bye Buffering video in YouTube (HD)
The Usain Bolt is Richard Branson campaign was developed at Tribal London, DDB UK, London, by creative directors Howard Wilmott, Mark Griffiths and Simon Richings, creative team Gary Anderson, Tony Miller, Sam Turk, Paul Robbins, Darren O’Beirne and Neil McGuirk, and agency producer Maggie Blundell, executive strategy director Lucy Jameson, planning director Dom Boyd, managing partner Xavier Rees, operations director Ali Cooper, Manning Gottlieb OMD media planners Paul Gayfer, Emma Norris and Lauren Needleman, working with Virgin Media advertising managers Richard Larcombe, Jeff Dodds and Nigel Gilbert.