O2’s first Christmas campaign aims to show the ‘power of the imagination’

O2’s first foray into festive advertising features its brand mascot Bubl helping a young girl take part in the sport she loves despite lockdown.

O2 is launching its first Christmas campaign as it looks to show how connectivity is key amid uncertain times.

The ad, created by VCCP, features 10-year-old Darcy Murdoch tentatively taking to the ice rink alone, surrounded by snow-covered trees. Darcy, a young professional ice skater from Dundee, is just one of millions of young people unable to participate in the sport they love this year due to lockdown.

As Darcy begins to take her first steps on the ice, help is at hand in the form of Bubl the robot – O2’s brand mascot. It aims to highlight how O2 is always there for you, with Bubl and Darcy gliding around on the ice, supporting each other and getting lost in the magical scene.

The dream fades to reveal Darcy at home with her real-life sister Lexi, and their mums. Darcy was watching Olaf’s Frozen Adventure on Disney+ via her new tablet, and had gone into a world of her own imagination with the Disney Christmas featurette.

The campaign is inspired by O2’s long standing partnership with the NSPCC, and its work to keep children safe online and when using tech. This is particularly important at a time when technology will keep us connected to those we can’t be with over Christmas.

Behind the scenes, Darcy has talked about the challenges of training during lockdown, as ice rinks across the country have been closed. A competitive ice skater since she was five years old, Darcy was treated to an entirely new ice rink built for the shoot by O2 and VCCP in a secret location filmed in the UK.

O2 chief marketing officer, Nina Bibby, says: “Our story brings to life the power of imagination, and the importance of connectivity at a time when we might be apart from the people and things we love. At O2, we place importance on the great value we bring to our customers, with unbeatable offers on technology and low monthly prices.

“We also want to celebrate our great offers, including up to 12 months Disney+ on us. And we wanted to bring some Christmas magic to screens this year, and Darcy is a true star. It’s magical to see her doing the sport she loves alongside our helpful robot Bubl.”

The 60-second advert will run from 14 November to Christmas Eve and is supported by outdoor and an exclusive Snapchat AR lens to bring the O2 Christmas advert into people’s living rooms. The front facing camera allows users to take a selfie with Bubl, with the rear facing camera turning the floor into an icy lake, as seen in the ad. Bubl appears on screen to skate across the floor, with Snapchatters being able to get them to perform skating tricks on command.