Bolt takes on ‘Blot’ in new Virgin Media ad campaign

We had a fabulous time learning about Virgin Media’s new multi-million pound advertising campaign earlier this week in Central London and today we’re delighted to be one of the very first to tell you more. Quick out of the blocks with the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt and Sir Richard Branson bringing the benefits of superfast broadband to life. The ads kick off on primetime ITV and Channel 4 on Monday, 1st July.

The campaign invites Brits to put their broadband to the test and sees Bolt, representing Virgin Media’s superfast fibre optic broadband, go head-to-head with Blot, a slow and inefficient challenger representing regular broadband powered by DSL technology. The ads show how Virgin Media quickly leaves other broadband providers in the dust. We are lucky enough to use VM superfast broadband and it allows us to keep up to date in the shortest time possible, find out more benefits and evidence of how great this service is below…




A call to ‘Challenge Your Broadband’ runs through the integrated campaign, pointing people to to see how their existing broadband shapes up against Virgin Media’s superfast service and to explore the perfect speeds for their online needs.

The first 30 second ad sees Bolt and Blot on the track with a movie reel in-hand and ready to race to the finish line, where viewers eagerly wait for their film to download. A blazer-clad Richard Branson fires the starting pistol and Bolt flies to the finish line and the waiting sofa filled with film fans. Meanwhile, a slow, out-of-breath Blot trails behind.



Another 30 second TV ad showcases the stellar performance of Virgin Media’s broadband, demonstrating how it’s a real champion for households with lots of connected devices. Bolt and Blot limber up and powerlift a bar weighted with people online with laptops, tablets and smartphones. Bolt manages the task easily, getting a thumbs up from Richard before kicking back and ‘relaxin’’. But Blot struggles and we cut to Richard having to keep himself entertained with his favourite train set. The ad ends with a defeated Blot shuffling past a very happy Bolt. Acclaimed actor, writer and director Richard Ayodade, of IT Crowd fame, provides the voiceover to the TV ads.

Richard Larcombe, director of advertising and sponsorship at Virgin Media, said: “Our new ads champion Virgin Media’s outstanding broadband services with superfast legend Usain Bolt in the starring role. We believe everyone should get the superfast speeds they expect like our customers do1 so you can stream TV, download music, browse online and game to your heart’s content. This campaign takes a humorous look at the strength of Virgin Media’s fibre optic service but goes a step further by inviting people to put their own broadband to the test and see the benefits of Virgin Media broadband for themselves.”



The integrated campaign spans TV, print and online and drives viewers to the ‘Challenge Your Broadband’ microsite at, where visitors can try various challenges like testing their current broadband speed against Virgin Media’s superfast broadband.

As part of the campaign, online ads dramatise the frustrating experience of slow broadband. In one masthead advert on YouTube, viewers will see a YouTube video in the centre with Bolt and Blot on treadmills either side. When viewers hover over Bolt, the clip will play perfectly, but if they hover over Blot the footage will slow down and jar, demonstrating one of the many ways in which superfast broadband delivers better everyday experiences online.

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at:

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