Virgin Media Shows What 9.58 Seconds Really Feels Like For Usain Bolt

The broadband brand strings together 10 vignettes to demonstrate the dazzling speed of the fastest man on Earth.

WHAT: A 100-second film celebrating Usain Bolt’s 100-meter world record.


WHO: Virgin Media, BBH London

WHY WE CARE: “Do you know what 9.58 seconds feels like?” the authoritative voice of Michael Johnson demands. Well, now that you mention it, a lot of people probably hadn’t thought about it. Turns out, the answer is pretty hectic.

This film strings together 10 separate 9.58-second sequences, each equal in length to Bolt’s world-record sprint. Shot in Jamaica, around his childhood neighborhood, and with some original animated sequences, the film is a high-energy tribute to the runner, and the impact he’s had on his country, his sport, and wider culture. And, while the commercial is intended to convey a link between Bolt’s speed and the speed of Virgin Media’s broadband offering, it’s more realistically a pre-Olympics thank you to the long-term ambassador for the brand.

About the author

Louise Jack is a London-based journalist, writer and editor with a background in advertising and marketing. She has written for several titles including Marketing Week, Campaign and The Independent.