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News | 20 Nov 2020

Virtual 5G sledging, magical lights and the joy of singing together

Vodafone's new Christmas campaign for 2020 applies new twists to old traditions to help keep the UK connecting to the magic this Christmas.

This year, Vodafone’s Christmas campaign celebrates how innovative technology can help people share wonderful experiences even if they are apart.

The Christmas TV advert, airing today (20 November) during the breaks of ITV’s ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ and Channel 4’s ‘Gogglebox’, tells a heart-warming story.

A young boy can’t go out to play because he has a broken leg; instead, he has to watch his sister enjoying the Christmas snow. His sadness and frustration at missing out is shared by so many of us who’ve not been able to do all the things we’d normally do because of COVID-19 this year.

But all is not lost.

His sister has left a very special Christmas present for him under his bed – a virtual reality headset and haptic suit. When he puts them on, the technology enables him to share a magical sledging experience with his sister in real time over Vodafone’s high-speed 5G network.

He sees what she sees, and the haptic suit simulates what she feels – the cold of the snow, the speed, and the impact of the bumps down the slope. Even a broken leg can’t stop him joining in the fun as if he were right there himself.

Vodafone Christmas Campaign: VR Sledging
A virtual reality headset and a haptic body suit enable our TV ad character to share a magical sledging experience

“This Christmas we wanted to celebrate the power of human connection by dramatising the special relationship between siblings,” says Max Taylor, Vodafone UK’s Consumer Director.

“Using the power of 5G, we wanted to demonstrate the future and full potential of this technology in helping to maintain connections in those moments where we cannot be together.”

Lighting up Christmas 

The campaign also features a reimagined Christmas Light Display to ‘Brighten Up Britain’. Powered by 5G and launching in December, it will enable families to see their children’s Christmas card designs recreated on a big and beautiful light installation.

The display will be live streamed, with the imagery sent back to the budding artists so they can use it in e-cards to send to friends and family.

As charity Christmas card sales – and so donations – are likely to be hit this year, each e-card will spark a £1 donation from Vodafone to children’s charity, Barnardo’s.

Virtual carols

Vodafone is also sponsoring Barnardo’s virtual children’s carols singalong – now known as Kidsmas live – on 1 December as part of the Christmas campaign.

Hosted by broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky, the event promises to be a fun-filled hour for all the family featuring singalongs, prizes and celebrity guests.

In addition, Vodafone is extending its Great British Tech Appeal which calls on the public to donate old devices to be refurbished and redistributed to those that need them the most. This means that people who don’t have access to the kind of connectivity many of us take for granted can still participate in this joyful Christmas event.

Keeping connected at this time of year has never been more important, but Vodafone is committed to keeping the appeal running beyond Christmas so that we can continue making a difference in 2021.

Keeping connected

Vodafone has been using the power of its connectivity tech to keep the UK sharing, working and playing throughout 2020, supporting NHS and care workers, job seekers, disadvantaged schoolchildren and families, not to mention customers with free mobile data and broadband deals.

As CEO Nick Jeffery says in this piece outlining all the ways Vodafone has been supporting the UK through the pandemic: “It’s my fundamental belief that no-one should be isolated and lonely; no-one should feel excluded; and no-one should be left behind.”

#ConnectTheMagic

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