How Virgin Media broke a Guinness World Record with its Speed Demons team
Virgin Media and Audience won the award for Brand Activation as part of an Integrated Marketing Campaign at The Drum Awards for Experience. Here, we find out more about this successful project.
Virgin Media's Speed Demons campaign
At the time of the initial brief in 2021, the world was still heavily relying on internet services to stay connected. The industry competition was fierce in the fight to be perceived as the fastest broadband provider. The brief was to remind the public that despite the industry noise, Virgin Media (VM) is in fact the UK’s fastest major broadband provider.
The agency was tasked with amplifying the above-the-line (ATL) Skater Girl Campaign ‘We’re better, connected with a disruptive experience that would drive fame. The main goals and KPIs were the following:
- Generate positive earned media and drive reach (social, PR)
- Give VM customers a money can’t buy experience that would boost NPS
- Leverage the activation through paid media (Influencers, TV ad, paid social)
The original ATL campaign had already pitched skateboarding as a passion point for bringing people together. The ATL perfectly captured VM’s end line, ‘We’re better, connected. Yet customers choose VM for their speed - a sense of community is simply a product of fast connections. The idea was to create a buzz around their fast speeds and create a pure moment of human connection, taking the challenge of speed literally and giving the sport another emergency opportunity to add to their list of accomplishments.
What better way to push the boundaries of what’s possible than by doing something that’s never been done before? The challenge was to break an innovative, new Guinness World Record (GWR).
The ‘Speed Demons’, a team of four professional skateboarders, was born. To break the record they had to skate downhill in a connected formation for over 100 meters, whilst hitting a top speed of 50mph on the 1.5-mile track.
The day was about the record, but it was also about customers. To generate buzz within the VM community an exciting campaign ran on VM’s social, online channels, email and TV platform, giving customers a chance to win a weekend away and be part of the record-breaking experience.
The concept and vision were so well received by VM that rather than only run it on their social media, it decided to shoot a bespoke TV advert with Adam&EveDDB, with an end result that packed a punch. For maximum impact, the film played during an entire advertising break during Channel 4’s highlights of the Italian Grand Prix – a genius nod to the speed element of the campaign.
The four professional skaters smashed the GWR with a downhill skateboarding record of 52.788mph.
- Impressions - 11,650,444
- Video views - 2,258,818
- Engagements - 23,348
- VTR: 19% (26.66% uplift)
- Impressions: 1,402,291
- Completed Video Views: 1,164,462
- VTR: 83% (platform benchmark 80%)
- Page views: 88,265
- 3,000 competition entries
- Channel breakdown - email 87k page views
Of a sample of 1,000 individuals who watched the TV advertisement, the speed sentiment of the campaign was well understood by all, and respondents of the survey were more likely to consider transitioning to VM broadband as a result. Over half who saw the campaign agreed that VM broadband connects people together.