Beale's Best In Show: Virgin Media (Rainey kelly campbell roalfe/Y&R)

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The Independent Online

It used to be so easy being a couch potato; four TV channels, everything in a neat time slot, no interaction necessary (or possible).

Then came digital; hundreds of channels, red buttons, self-scheduling and lots more companies promising to deliver more channel choice, better EPGs, bigger storage capacity and more comprehensive libraries of video-on-demand. Working out what to watch, when to watch, how to watch and which supplier to watch it with is rather more complicated these days. As is standing out from the clutter of programme delivery brands. Which is why Virgin Media is on the money with its new cinema campaign for its video-on-demand catch-up service.

For starters, it stars a cartoon Mick Hucknall. The real Mr Hucknall is clearly either very game for a laugh or desperate for dosh, because it's not exactly a flattering portrayal. Hucknall finds himself in an age correction clinic, attended by a burly busty nurse determined to help him seem hipper, younger, rather than "an out-of-the-loop old man". Virgin Media's service is the perfect elixir to keep in touch. Then, as Hucknall is led away for his treatment, the nurse rips off her mask to reveal Richard Branson.

The ad has been created by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R. The animation's by So! Animation, who have done a great job. And the end result is strange; the bizarre approach gives the brand lots of zing and makes it stand out a mile amid the television noise.