BT targets the digitally downtrodden in campaign starring ‘pixelated Paula’

Campaign promotes BT’s internet offers.

BT has launched a campaign urging members of the public to reconsider their internet providers, as working from home continues to be part of everyday life for many of us.

Created by Saatchi & Saatchi, the ad shows “pixelated Paula” (as named by her colleague Stuart) as she tries to meander her way through a web meeting with a poor internet connection.

“Paula was flying high a few months ago, destined for corporate glory,” a narrator declares, before remarking that the worker’s performance slumped as she was “signal shamed one call at a time”.

It turns out that Paula was using the “wrong broadband provider”, according to BT’s trusted narrator.

The ad launches today (4 September) during Emmerdale on ITV, alongside radio, outdoor, print and social activity that is set to reach 99% of UK adults, according to the brand.

It was created by Will Brookwell, Mia Silverman and Ryan Price, and directed by Tim Godsall through Anonymous Content. Media is handled by Essence.

“Great broadband has always been important to happiness at home but recent events have highlighted this more than ever before,” Pete Jeavons, director of marketing communications at BT, said.

“It became absolutely critical – for work, education, connecting with family and friends, even shopping for groceries. When it doesn’t work properly, it constricts our world and we really feel it.”

BT’s campaign builds on the brand’s “Beyond limits” brand platform, which kicked off last year (18 October) with a record-breaking event at Wembley Arena.

The second instalment of “Beyond limits” was launched in January this year with a spoken-word spot to promote the company’s consolidated plan, BT Halo.

Jeavons added: “This campaign is designed to bring that to life through universal concerns such as strength of connection, online safety and tech support. 

“We’re sure this will resonate with people up and down the UK and instil in them that they shouldn’t be settling for substandard connections.”

During lockdown, BT launched a series of celebrity-fronted ads celebrating the power of communication during the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week (29 August), BT changed the rules of football in a spot ahead of this year’s Premier League season.

Also launching tonight is a spot for sister brand EE, again created by Saatchi & Saatchi, featuring Kevin Bacon having fun with an iPhone.

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