Virgin Media tribute to Usain Bolt Rio 2016 Olympics

Broadband provider Virgin Media launched a 100-second ad during Wales vs Portugal clash in Euro 2016.

People want fast broadband connection and Virgin Media gives them just that. Fast speed is Virgin Media’s competitive edge in technology. Our new ad is about what it feels like to experience speed, at a physical and emotional level.

When Usain Bolt broke the world 100m record he did it in an incredible 9.58 seconds. Our ad re-creates that experience, over and over again and with increasing excitement. It describes the feeling of running at such speed from different and varied perspectives. ‘9.58 seconds’ informs the structure of the ad. It is a modular piece, made up of ten 9.58 second sequences.

It attempts to lift the lid on the real Bolt. It shows the ‘overwhelming rush of hurt’ he describes when talking about his training schedule, the impact his achievement had on adoring fans, the healthy Jamaican diet he grew up on, the gaming arcades he spent his childhood in and the Jamaican dance culture he is still a part of.

By the end of the ad, we’ve shown what it feels like to be the fastest, not just for Bolt, but how that can be achieved through our VIVID 200Mbps fibre optic broadband. Our customers experience some of the fastest broadband speeds, giving them a superior entertainment experience, whether it be with movies, music or gaming.

The 100-second TV ad, narrated by fellow sprinter Michael Johnson, was launched today Wednesday, during the Euro 2016 quarter final match between Wales and Portugal on ITV.

“It is designed to be a celebration,” said Kerris Bright, chief marketing officer at Virgin Media. “A celebration of speed. We wanted to tell a different type of story about Usain Bolt. An emotive story about him, speed, in a way that links back to Virgin Media.”

The campaign, which runs with the strapline Be the Fastest, included a stunt on the river Thames involving the London Eye and a 100m long video screen to recreate his 9.58 second sprint.

The wider campaign will use media including outdoor, press and social media and promote Virgin Media’s Vivid 200Mbps broadband.

Virgin first approached Bolt about potentially featuring in its ads after the then 22-year-old rose to worldwide fame after his double gold medal win at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

He started appearing in Virgin Media ads from about 2012, the year London hosted the Olympics.


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