Bolt becomes Branson in Virgin Media speed spoof

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Virgin Media is launching its biggest advertising campaign to date, which features Olympic gold medal sprinter Usain Bolt impersonating Sir Richard Branson.

The 'Keep Up' campaign by DDB UK features Bolt, the fastest man in the world, sporting a blonde goatee beard in Branson's office and attempting to convince viewers he is the Virgin boss.

Much to his frustration, he is interrupted by the real Branson, who tries to get into the office.

Bolt is then seen at the end of the ad pulling his famous "to di world" lightning pose and waggling his finger at the Virgin Media web address.

The campaign promotes Virgin Media's plans to roll out double-speed broadband to more than four million UK households.

It will launch on Facebook tonight (13 January) with 'Bolt-on' teasers, ahead of its full-length TV debut on Saturday night during the ITV1's 'Take Me Out'.

Seth Gordon, most recently known for hit comedy movie 'Horrible Bosses', directed the ad. Media planning was by Fifty6.

The campaign will also run across press, outdoor, social, retail and online. It will be among the last work created by DDB for Virgin Media following the brand's decision to move its advertising account into Bartle Bogle Hegarty in December.

Jeff Dodds, executive director of brand and marketing communications at Virgin Media, said: "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 cliché.

"This is where DDB UK has done us proud by taking a refreshing and typically Virgin self-deprecating and cheeky approach to the brief."

Follow Sara Kimberley on Twitter @SaraKimberley

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