After Steve Carell played Santa in Xfinity's 2020 holiday ad, now another star of "The Office" is following in his footsteps: Ed Helms, who played the hapless Andy Bernard in the NBC sitcom, fronts the brand's latest campaign for its "unbeatable internet."
Helms, who's also known for "The Hangover" movies, explains the benefits of Xfinity's "supersonic" speed internet as he's seen in various scenarios, including riding a cheetah, catapulting through space and multiplying himself in order to be more productive.
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Also appearing in a cameo is former professional boxer Evander Holyfield, who personifies Xfinity's cybersecurity protection by protecting Helms from hackers in a coffee shop, and influencer FaZe Swagg, who battles a villain in partnership with Helms in a virtual game they are playing.
The spot, running on TV and digital, is by Goodby Silverstein & Partners and was directed by Traktor via Stink.
The casting of Helms appears to be down to his "everyman" qualities; Sophie Ahmad, executive VP and chief marketing officer at Comcast Cable, described him as "America’s favorite best friend."
And, commenting on Helms' appearance on the heels of Carell, Todd Arata, senior VP, brand, at Comcast Cable, told Ad Age: "It was not intentional but given the cultural appeal of 'The Office' and the strong cast of characters, we knew we would have an actor in Ed that would break through and make the transformation from a supporting "beatable" character to one that becomes "unbeatable" with Supersonic WiFi from Xfinity."
Meanwhile Jim Elliott, executive creative director at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, added: “The internet is so much at the center of our lives these days, connecting us instantly to all those things that bring us excitement and joy. Nobody does that better than Xfinity, so we thought… let’s make that excitement and joy palpable and electrifying for viewers. Let’s put our supersonic WiFi in the hands of a relatable guy like Ed and watch him become a wide-eyed, white-knuckled superhuman.”