Vodafone to use Formula 1 stars in new advertising campaign

LONDON - Mobile phone giant Vodafone is launching its biggest advertising campaign to date featuring Formula 1 racing drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello.

Schumacher, the current world champion, and Barrichello drive for Ferrari, the team Vodafone pays £30m a year to sponsor.

The campaign breaks next week in 15 countries including the UK, Germany, Austria and Italy, where the company is rebranding its Omnitel subsidiary. Vodafone is currently rebranding all its divisions under the Vodafone name.

It is the first time Vodafone has used its sponsorship of Formula 1 in its advertising.

The first advertisement features Barrichello driving into the pits. His mobile phone rings and switches to a voicemail message that says "sorry I can't come to the phone right now. I'm at work."

The ads were created by Dutch-based agency Wieden & Kennedy and were shot in Italy.

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