Ogilvy & Mather London has secured the talent of "The Hobbit" and "Sherlock" star Martin Freeman, and director Daniel Kleinman, in its first major ad for new client Vodafone.
Freeman plays a crass guest at a glamorous Mediterranean wedding, who interrupts the couple's first dance by boringly warning a woman filming on her phone that she'll have to pay roaming charges abroad. However, as she is with Vodafone, she explains she won't have to pay charges. Freeman is caught commenting on how expensive coming to the wedding is and slinks away in the kind of wincing embarrassment he does so well.
To extend the campaign, Vodafone has also created a follow-up ad, called "The Excuse," which will run on social channels, and features Freeman's character boring another guest (who isn't revealed till the end) about how he didn't ruin the day, and the couple is all wrong for each other anyhow.
Both spots feature great performances from Freeman, and it's the first time he has appeared in a U.K. commercial for a brand (althoug he has appeared in political films). Fans of "The Night Manager" might be interested to hear that the wedding was filmed in Majorca at La Fortaleza, the private island recently used as a key setting in the Emmy award-winning drama.
The aim of the campaign is to show the brand in a "quintessentially British light," with ads focusing on Vodafone's willingness to remove the long standing issues that get in the way of people connecting. The telecom giant appointed Ogilvy & Mather to handle its U.K. advertising in January, moving the account from Grey London.
Freeman commented in a statement: "I thought the script was funny. It had a simple very British comedic idea at its core, which the director, Danny Kleinman captured brilliantly."