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Virgin Media is launching its biggest ever multi-channel marketing campaign as it prepares to double the broadband speeds of over four million UK households.
DDBUK uses iconic figures Usain Bolt and Sir Richard Branson to reinforce Virgin Media’s position as the fastest broadband provider in the UK and sees the introduction of the brand-line ‘Keep Up’.
Against an early backdrop of predictable 2012 advertising, the ‘Keep Up’ campaign has veered away from showing the athlete in performance mode. Instead we see Bolt – the fastest man ever to walk the planet – resplendent in running kit and spikes, trying to persuade us that he is, in fact, Sir Richard Branson. In an attempt to convince, he talks to us direct from the Virgin founder’s office wearing a Branson-esque blonde goatee beard. Much to Bolt’s frustration, his efforts are interrupted by the real Branson, who repeatedly tries to get the usurper out of his office.
The ads are directed by Seth Gordon, most recently known for hit comedy movie Horrible Bosses, with the initial execution airing for the first time on Saturday 14th during primetime ITV1 show Take Me Out. The campaign launches on TV and Facebook the night before with a series of innovative five second ‘Bolt-on’ teasers.
The campaign has already started with Usain Bolt pretending to be Sir Richard Branson on Twitter during the week, with the evolving banter between the two using the hashtag #IamRBranson.
The theme continues across all media, including TV, press, outdoor, social, retail and online, with a new campaign site to promote the benefits of the UK’s fastest broadband and to remind current and prospective Virgin Media customers of the company’s supremacy in the broadband market.
All media points customers to Virgin Media’s dedicated website which goes live Friday evening where they can find out when their broadband speed will be doubled. The TV ads end with Bolt pulling his famous ‘To Di World’ lightning pose and waggling his finger at the web address www.virginmedia.com/doublespeed. Media planning was by Fifty6.
Jeff Dodds, executive director of brand and marketing communications at Virgin Media, said: “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 superfast 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 DDBUK has done us proud by taking a refreshing, and typically Virgin self-deprecating and cheeky approach to the brief.”
Xavier Rees, managing partner at DDBUK added: “This was an exciting campaign to work on as it’s not often a brand gives something so significant back to its customers. It’s also not often that you get to do something original with two icons of this magnitude. Keep Up is a fantastic campaign idea and plays strongly to consumers’ desire to avoid missing out on the latest innovations so all the ingredients are in place for a highly effective campaign with massive cut-through.”
16 January 2012
Virgin Media Keep Up
DDB UK and Volkswagen announced the availability of the Golf GTI Edition 35 in the UK with a new campaign that celebrates 35 years of the much loved and iconic model by turning it into a ‘time machine’ and sending it back through the decades.
The online and experiential campaign launched in October with a live event staged at the Truman Brewery in East London, and hosted by TV presenter and racing driver Amanda Stretton. Spectators watched as two engineers clambered into the GTI ‘time machine’ and accelerated towards a wall, only to see it vanish in front of their very eyes and apparently reappear at Volkswagen’s German headquarters in Wolfsburg in 1976.
However, the event itself marks only the beginning of the journey; over the next four weeks, fans will be able to follow the story of the Golf GTI and its two intrepid engineers on Facebook as they make their way back through the decades, dropping in on a range of historic moments along the way. Their adventures will be documented through a series of daily posts from the front line of time travel – a mix of film footage, competitions and photographs.
The campaign has been created by DDB UK with the live event and videos produced by Passion Raw.
Jeremy Craigen, Executive Creative Director, DDB UK commented: “What I love most about this campaign is that we have avoided being unduly reverential when it comes to marking this milestone in the history of Volkswagen’s most iconic car; instead, the campaign is both irreverent and totally inclusive – two characteristics that are entirely in keeping with the original philosophy behind the GTI.”
Nigel Brotherton, National Communications Manager at Volkswagen said: “What we love about the GTI time travel campaign is that it not only reflects the unique personality and heritage of the brand but our creative relationship with DDB. The event perfectly celebrated the heritage of our much loved GTI, while warmly welcoming the new Edition 35 to theUK.”
14 November 2011
Volkswagen Golf GTi 35th anniversary event
Our new multi-million pound ad campaign for Virgin Media's TiVo service is fronted by Marc Warren, star of Hustle and Mad Dogs. Promising to be the best way to watch TV, ever, the TiVo service combines the live TV schedule with catch-up TV, a huge library of on-demand programming and popular web-based applications alongside a market-leading personal video recorder. With a simple way of finding great content and intelligent recommendations based on a household’s telly habits, the new service makes it easier than ever for Virgin Media customers to discover new types of entertainment they’ll love.
The campaign involves TV, digital, print, retail, experiential and social media, beginning with three ten-second TV spots and a raft of print ads which highlight the hugely positive reception the Virgin Media: TiVo Service has enjoyed since it launched in December 2010. The campaign continues with Marc Warren featuring in three 30-second TV spots, exploring the TiVo service’s simple solutions to the increasingly complex choices facing viewers today. Set against a clean, white backdrop, Marc is faced with a carousel of spinning TVs, catapulted screens and falling TVs, before demonstrating the TiVo service’s ability to search through a wide choice of programmes to find your favourite shows quicker than ever; avoiding clashes by recording three shows whilst watching a fourth; and making sure you never miss the start of your favourite series by setting a WishListTM, providing the viewer with the ultimate control of their TV.
Nigel Gilbert, chief marketing officer, Virgin Media, said: “Virgin Media is leading a much-anticipated revolution in the way people enjoy their favourite shows and our new advertising campaign is focused simply on the great stuff on offer from our new TiVo box. We know the features and functions our customers have already fallen in love with and are making the most of a fully integrated campaign to cut through the noise and highlight these stand-out attributes. We’re inviting people to take a look at our brilliant new service and interact with TiVo’s iconic ‘thumbs up’ and ‘thumbs down’ buttons online to discover even more.”
Guy Bradbury, creative director at DDB UK said “We’ve developed a campaign with the necessary depth for Virgin Media’s new TiVo service. The campaign sign-off of ‘We think it’s the best way to watch TV, but what do you think?’ invites the audience to interact with the campaign, showing the confidence Virgin Media has to engage with consumers which comes from the game changing nature of the Virgin Media: TiVo Service itself.”
Visit www.virginmedia.com/tivo to explore an interactive video journey and discover more of the TiVo service’s next generation features for yourselves. From a 1TB hard drive, able to record up to 500 hours of content, the ability to scroll back in time and through the past seven days on the EPG and the ability to rate shows with thumbs up and thumbs down buttons and receive recommendations based on a viewer’s preferences, visitors to www.virginmedia.com/tivo can interact with the site and give their favourite Virgin Media: TiVo Service feature a big thumbs up.
5 August 2011
Virgin Media TiVo Launch
To keep the Volkswagen customers connected to the brand between the website and the showroom.
Having created volkswagen.co.uk, we wanted to deliver a mobile experience to customers utilising the key areas of the website accessed by mobile devices.
We looked at usage figures of devices accessing the website and it became clear that Volkswagen customers like their iPhones. We therefore decided that an iPhone app was the platform to concentrate on.
Looking more deeply at the areas of the site that iPhone users were accessing, new cars came high up the list.
We wanted to go one step further than just showcasing the model range and created something that was the first of its kind in the automotive industry. We built a car configurator app that offers the user 90 million possible configurations of Volkswagens.
31 July 2011
Volkswagen iPhone Car Configurator App
Volkswagen is currently focusing on value - specifically the widely held, erroneous belief that their cars are more expensive than most of their competitors. They wanted to show that, over time, Volkswagens almost always work out to be cheaper. This was an awareness message that needed to reach beyond the people who were thinking about car purchases in the near future.
We created a miniature interactive village through which visitors could roughly calculate the long term costs of various aspects of their life: family, fun, holidays, food, home and of course, a Volkswagen car. The aim was to show that the little things really do add up over time, and that Volkswagen is on the case. Once calculated, visitors can share and compare their surprising results with Facebook friends.
The beautifully detailed village was shot using a tilt-shift style to exaggerate the small scale feel. Multiple camera passes allowed us to incorporate the streets and buildings into an interactive environment that users can move through as they explore the cost of living their lifetime.
The site is a great way for Volkswagen to engage with people in a fun and interesting way while addressing the complex subject of the whole life costs of owning and running a car.
30 July 2011
Volkswagen True Life Costs
Introducing DDB UK's latest tech-led innovation business; Tribal SPARK. Tribal SPARK will fuse the creative brilliance of DDB with the pioneering ingenuity of Tribal, leveraging new and emerging technologies to create exciting and inventive business opportunities for their clients.
The entrepreneurial business will be led by Tom Roberts, Managing Director of Tribal DDB UK and Drew Burdon, Head of Strategy for Tribal DDB UK, who said: 'Changing consumer behaviour has meant that clients have needed their agencies to demonstrate a high level of specialism, diversity and integration. SPARK has been designed to allow clients and agency specialists to work collaboratively and iteratively to create innovative opportunities for their brands, products and business.'
Tribal SPARK's first product is a new Car Configurator iPhone App for Volkswagen. Available to download for free on iTunes, the App is the first in its sector to cover all models, options and accessories across a manufacturer's entire range. From paint colours and alloy wheels through to spoilers and bike racks, users will be able to design their dream car from a selection of over 90 million different combinations, in the palm of their hand. Volkswagen is considering expanding the App to other mobile platforms, as well as the iPad, in the near future.
17 July 2011
Tribal SPARK Innovation
DDB UK unveil our new advertising campaign for Virgin Media, 'A More Exciting Place to Live'. Celebrating families, couples, professionals and friends making the most of the digital world, the ad gives us a glimpse into every room in the home where we see people listening to music, watching films, staying in touch, learning, sharing and living in the digital world.
The ad features lyrics from the Madness anthem 'Our House' set to the soundtrack of Dan Black's 'Symphonies'.
Richard Larcombe, advertising and sponsorship director at Virgin Media, said: "Our new campaign celebrates the integral role technology plays as part of life today. People are using more services, devices and gadgets more of the time and Virgin Media is helping families lead a limitless digital life. We're enabling the next generation of digital entertainment and putting our brilliant services at the heart of UK homes. With superfast broadband, next generation TV and innovative mobile services, a Virgin Media world is a more exciting place to live."
The ads are part of a multi-million pound media campaign, including outdoor, social media and online, print and radio. Virgin Media's 'A More Exciting Place to Live' launches on www.virginmedia.com on Friday 4th February. Virgin Media will then takeover Facebook's homepage on Saturday and launch a dedicated online destination at www.virginmedia.com, enabling visitors to explore a range of interactive videos and helping to bring Virgin Media's next generation digital services to life.
5 July 2011
Virgin Media A more exciting place to live
MONOPOLY’s brand essence is all about negotiation. Those players that are best at negotiation, are best at MONOPOLY. So, our brief was to amplify this brand value whilst also bringing to life Hasbro’s latest release, MONOPOLY City, through an intense, rewarding and social experience for MONOPOLY players.
We created the biggest online game of MONOPOLY ever. A global online campaign that takes the game into the real world with a live worldwide game of MONOPOLY, using Google Maps to turn the globe into one giant game board!
First, we started momentum in the campaign by creating a competition for MONOPOLY fans to design their own MONOPOLY building using Google SketchUp to be included in the game. The community then voted for the top 3 designs which were included in the game. The game then went live and, armed with $3 million in virtual cash players purchase and construct MONOPOLY buildings on any street in the world. They earn rent from their properties and can increase the earning potential of their streets by adding schools, eco-friendly parks and much more. With Chance Cards, players can sabotage their opponents by erecting prisons or sewage plants, negating all rent on a street, and even demolish buildings altogether. The campaign ended on 9th December with overwhelming results.
• It now ranks in the top 20 biggest online games in the US by UVs
• Over 17 million visits to date
* 1.4 million active registered players
* Over 5 million unique visitors to date
* 15 billion dynamic page impressions per month
* 70% of visitors spent 10+ minutes per visit, 50% spent half an hour or more
* Total streets bought 8,927,643
* Total buildings built 175,002,384, a new building element of the game
* Number of negotiations 11,974,870
5 June 2011
Hasbro Monopoly City Streets
The Golf GTI is an icon – the original hot hatch, loved by pre-family, affluent men. They’re urban, style-conscious ‘early adopters’, the kind of people who know their brands and what they stand for. They love driving and care about the performance of their car over ostentation. We needed to find an original and captivating way to attract these men and get them experiencing the new GTI VI.
Our approach was to bring the fun of driving the new GTI VI to life. We created The GTI Project: a game that allows people to relive the boyish fun of their youths by tapping into the nostalgia of when they first learnt to love driving. Inspired by the true story behind the car’s history: the first GTI was built in secret by Volkswagen engineers in their spare time, purely out of a love for performance motoring. The project features a restricted access workroom in the Volkswagen factory, where an extraordinary 30ftx25ft Scalextric racetrack has been built. Between the 200 buildings of a gleaming model city, the GTI engineers are racing their new car in miniature, no less fine-tuned and expertly engineered than its full size counterpart. Players can become immersed in the familiar Scalextrics race; taking control, crashing round corners, setting their own fast lap, then challenging their friends to do better. This virtual track engages people with the real emotional reward of a GTI, not that it’s flashy, but that it’s fun. Ultimately, it’s about the thrill of driving – something that GTI engineers and drivers seem to understand instinctively. This all-digital launch campaign comprised social media outreach, email activity, rich media online ads and traffic drivers on www.volkswagen.co.uk all driving to the GTI Project microsite.
• The site generated over five million page views.
• 167,439 registered players, spending an average of eight minutes on the site.
• The site exploded across a multitude of online communities, with our outreach resulting in over 279,500 sites now linking to the microsite.
• Sites like drivers-republic took it a step further, creating their own custom league competitions on the GTI Project, with attractive prizes like a day at Millbrook test-driving the new GTI under professional racer supervision.
• Posts and comments range from Portuguese to Polish, Twitter generated a huge social buzz with tweets like ‘Best interactive marketing that I’ve seen in ages!’ and ‘I love websites that are not a simple click and view, enjoy GTI Project’.
• Most importantly, this all-digital campaign met its ambitious sales targets within one month of the car’s launch.
16 May 2011
Volkswagen GTI Project
Volkswagen wanted people to experience the ’simply effortless’ Tiguan for themselves.
We decided to use social media to turn ordinary individuals into influential brand advocates, by creating a competition in which we searched for a new kind of car critic - The People’s Reviewer.
Over 1000 people applied via YouTube video auditions and email entries. We selected nine contestants, divided them into three heats, and gave each aTiguan for a week to try out its features and record a short video review. These were posted on the People’s Reviewer site where the public voted for their favourite. The competition culminated in a final between the winners of each of the three heats.
This is a real example of a campaign that leverages the power of social media with an off-line experience, whilst being bolstered by a traditional media spend. The People’s Reviewer demonstrated the enormous potential of social media when embraced by major brands, even in these early experimental days. In undertaking the campaign, Volkswagen has broken new ground for the way UK car brands can and will connect with the public.
• 251,411 site visits
• 6,834 participants (votes, sign-ups, entrants)
• 1,019 entrants
• Over 1,000 followers on twitter
• Over 50,000 video views
• 2.2 million reach through social media [excluding paid advertising figures]
…and one People’s Reviewer
10 January 2011
Volkswagen The People's Reviewer
Speedy signs a contract with Virgin Media to represent their fibre optic broadband. Elated he heads to London to start his new job, only to find that his new employers have some very peculiar ideas on how to use him. That said he handles working with these funny Englishmen with good grace and humour, mainly due to the seemingly endless supply of good cheese.
28 August 2010
Virgin Media Speedy Gonzales
Hasbro had a new brand positioning. This year the classic Trivial Pursuit had a makeover with six new question styles allowing for faster and more exciting game-play. Hasbro wanted to communicate this to audiences in a way that would re-engage them and encourage sales in the all important Christmas run-up.
We needed to come up with a way to engage the audience and drive awareness by provoking participation. Trivial Pursuit Experiment was created to support this launch, after all playing in teams is better, because no-one knows everything!
A fun and addictive game that reveals your inner genius by pitting Men versus Women across the world in nine languages to discover once and for all, who is the smartest sex! Players can also create banter cards to send to their friends, the perfect way to enlist more players for your side, or to have a dig at the opposition! Because we all have days when our inner genius is hiding, we created the Trivial Pursuit Wedgie awards: send in your favourite clips of real life mistakes and we’ll share the winners every week. All of these features can be experienced on the demo site.
• The Experiment finished on 22nd February 2010. It was a very close call with scores changing in real time, but like most games, only one side can win.
• The game ended with a world-wide score of a staggering 15,121,731 questions asked and answered.
• This means it would take an individual over 3500 non-stop days or 9 years, 215 days, 8 hours and 24 minutes exactly to answer all the questions, with no sleep or breaks!
• The final scores were massive: Women 4,088,139 : Men 4,077,596. Congratulations women of the world, bragging rights are yours forever!
• Interestingly, the women did best in Entertainment (56.8% correctly answered) and the men did best in Science & Nature ( 57% correctly answered)
• The second experiment, Battle of the Generations, started mid March.
The website is part of a wider campaign that includes viral, online display, social media and PR co-developed with an unnamed US based agency.
8 June 2010