Virgin Media O2, the recently-merged U.K. telco, is tackling data poverty in its Christmas campaign this year, with a purpose-led effort that includees a TV ad starring its robot mascot, Bubl.
The company has created The National Databank with charity the Good Things Foundation, and will donate 10 GB of O2 data to it for every mobile plan purchased over the holiday period, from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31. The idea is to help the 1.5 million homes in the U.K. currently without internet access.
In the ad, created via VCCP and directed by Gary Freedman of Independent Films, an army of cute Bubl robots sets out to address the data poverty problem, spreading data to those in need via little bubbles of their own as they roam around a city's snowy streets.
O2 launched Bubl, the blue robot mascot, in September 2020 with the aim of making a more emotional connection with its consumers, and he has featured in its advertising via VCCP since then.
“This Christmas we wanted to celebrate the power of human connection—for everyone,” said Simon Groves, director of brand and marketing communication at Virgin Media O2. “Access to the internet is an everyday necessity many of us take for granted, and pledging even more O2 data to the National Databank is one step we can take to help to close the gap on digital inequality."
The campaign aims to capture "the true spirit of Christmas, and the strength of mobile data in helping to maintain connections in those moments where we cannot be together," he said.
"Over the last 18 months in particular the internet has kept many of us connected to friends, family, entertainment and work,” added Jim Capp, creative director at VCCP London. “It’s an essential, but we’re incredibly conscious that millions still are without access to those simple connections—unable to work, bank, learn online, keep in touch with family and friends—imagine that.”