Virgin Media might not be our favourite brand here at the Decision Marketing Nerve Centre – we switched to BT months ago due to years of poor connections and dire customer service – but never let it be said we don’t give brands a second chance.
So here comes a new campaign by VCCP London, dubbed “Why walk when you can ride?”, designed to launch Virgin Media’s WiFi guarantee, demonstrating the Internet provider’s commitment to delivering “superior connectivity, reliability, and speed”.
Launching during the England Women’s international friendly football match against the USA on ITV, the activity leads with a 60” spot “Highland Rider” depicting the story of a highland cow who, inspired by epic biking scenes she’s seen streamed over Virgin Media WiFi, goes to better and beyond by taking to the tarmac on a motorbike. (Not that you see her watching the films but, that’s what it says here.)
The ad opens on a close up of a highland cow’s face, with a view of the Scottish Highlands landscape behind. As the backing track from Dirty Dancing ‘She’s Like The Wind’ by Patrick Swayze begins to build, the camera pulls out to reveal a scene of the cow going along on a motorbike as she embarks on her own adventure.
The viewer accompanies the ride with her for a while, and then, with the wind in her hair, she rides off into the distance. The campaign strapline ‘Why walk when you can ride?’ voiced by Scottish actor Peter Mullen, star of Ken Loach’s My Name Is Joe, brings the film to a close and aims to leave viewers with the feeling of never settling for slow when you can have fast.
Supporting a 60” and 30” versions, the campaign will also go live in OOH solely at The O2 Arena, on display, OVOD, BVOD, retail and across social media. MG OMD handled the media planning and buying for the campaign.
Virgin Media O2 marketing director Amy Gilbert said: “The Virgin Media brand is rooted in unstoppable spirit and a desire to continually push boundaries to offer our customers more. From our unrivalled broadband speeds to our market leading WiFi guarantee, the purpose of our new campaign is to bring to life the superior connectivity we offer customers, with a bit of Virgin swagger.”
VCCP London deputy executive creative director David Masterman added: “This new campaign reinjects Virgin Media with its iconic attitude. Showing how we enable our customers to go to better and beyond, embodied by a highland cow on a Triumph Bonneville.”
So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?
Well, to be fair we quite like this ad, even though there seems little rhyme or reason behind it. Even in the most basic terms, the highland cow doesn’t seem to be going particularly fast and furious and you have to wonder what Internet there would be in the Highlands when Virgin’s connection to our office was so poor for so long.
Then again Cadbury’s drumming gorilla didn’t make sense either and that not only pushed up sales, it won a shedload of awards, too, so who are we to argue?
Will it be enough for us to go back to Virgin Media? Never.
Decision Marketing Adometer: A “nice ad shame about the brand” 8 out of 10