Virgin Media has launched a new ad campaign that mixes online gaming with emotional connection (and product placement).
“Faster brings us closer”, created by Adam & Eve/DDB, shows two students, Jade and Jake, forming an instant connection when they meet in an online video game. After Jade defeats Jake in a battle, they team up in the game and end up spending a lot of time together virtually.
They slowly develop feelings for each other during the game, but when it ends, Jake feels a bit lonely. The pair finally decide to take their relationship to the next level and meet face-to-face on a video call.
The work was written by Edward Usher, art directed by Xander Hart and directed by Frederic Planchon through Academy.
The TV ad will debut tonight (5 February) on ITV. Along with the film, the campaign will comprise digital, social media and a four-month radio partnership with Bauer Media.
Manning Gottlieb OMD, which handled media, has also planned some gaming-friendly elements of the campaign, including a “playable” ad on social media and a partnership with Twitch.
The story takes a more sentimental tone than previous Virgin Media ads. In 2019, A&E/DDB’s debut work for the brand introduced the “Unlimiting” campaign, which has featured a dad with an inflated sense of confidence and a cheeky Scouse girl.
Last year, at the height of the first national lockdown in the UK, Virgin Media launched its “Stay connected” campaign, which highlighted the importance of human connections during uncertain times.
Cilesta Van Doorn, executive director of brand and marketing at Virgin Media, said: “Building connections that really matter is why we exist at Virgin Media and, once again, we’ve put this sentiment right at the heart of our new campaign.
“In this increasingly digital era we’re living in, relationships are blossoming in new and unexpected places. For our latest ad, we’ve reimagined a classic love story that includes all of the warm fuzzy feelings you’d expect, but set in a fast-paced video game.
“We’ve loved showing a different, heart-warming side of gaming as Jade and Jake work together and form a connection in the process, suggesting that even in the virtual world, you can find love when you least expect it.”