Virgin Media jumps creative tracks with entirely animated ‘Super Bolt’ sketch

Virgin Media has revealed the next chapter in its ‘Switch to Super’ campaign – a high-octane rescue mission starring long-term brand ambassador Usain Bolt in animated form.

The creative switch to animation was teased at the end of Virgin’s previous ad, when the retired sprinter transformed from live action to cartoon form in his signature ‘to di world’ pose.

Jeff Dodds, managing director of consumer and mobile at the company, explained the switch would allow the Bolt to feature in future campaigns without having to physically appear on set.

Bolt’s first escapade as a cartoon is dubbed Adventures of Bolt. Created by agency of record BBH, the new TV ad sees the Olympic champion save a train of Southampton football fans from mortal peril.

The hero runs to brake the runaway locomotive, informing screaming passengers of Virgin Media’s benefits in the process.

The film was animated frame-by-frame by Smith & Foulkes at Nexus Studios, the directing duo behind McVitie’s ‘Sweeter Together’ and BBC Sport’s trail for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Sharon Hegarty, Virgin Media's new director of brand and marketing, said: “Super Bolt remains at the heart of this integrated, through-the-line campaign and he continues to embody our lightning-fast broadband speeds and incredible entertainment.”

Ben Fennell, chief executive officer of BBH London, added: "Great campaigns always build the brand for the long term whilst trading hard in the short term. All the early indicators suggest that ‘Switch to Super’ will do both of those important jobs for Virgin Media."

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