Actor Tom Ellis gets remote shave in new EE campaign
Saatchi & Saatchi ad demonstrates the reliability of the EE network
21 May 2021
EE has put high performance and innovation at the forefront of its latest campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi.
Welsh actor Tom Ellis, best known for his role in TV series Lucifer, is shown having his lockdown beard shaved off whilst climbing Snowdon / Yr Wyddfa in Wales. Using EE’s 4G network from a vantage point on the Pyg Track walking route, Tom is on a video call on the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, where he is jovially teased by EE favourite Kevin Bacon, who himself wears his lockdown facial hair with pride. Ellis then settles in to a barber’s chair which is set atop the rugged vista.
Ellis takes a deep breath in preparation for his riskiest stunt to date. He’s about to be clean-shaven by a state-of-the-art robotic arm that is remotely-controlled, live and for real, over EE’s network, by a barber based in Clapton, London, who is 250 miles away.
From 250-miles away, the barber and his celebrity customer can only communicate over live video call. Ellis uses the same 4G network available to EE customers, while the Barber uses 5G on EE from his London location. With the critical moment upon him, Ellis asks: “Kev, are you sure about this?”. Kevin Bacon casually replies, “Relax, it’s all connected to the EE network”.
EE’s one-of-a-kind Robot Barber arm, developed by The Mill, features a fully mechanical custom designed hand that grasps the razor blade and carefully mirrors the gestures of the barber who, through the use of five tracking markers and state of the art motion-capture technology, is being tracked precisely as he moves.
The next level network demonstration relies on low-latency and high-speed data transfer to ensure a smooth shave, only possible over EE’s award-winning network. Enabling motion data from the sensors attached to the barber’s custom-made gloves and his specially crafted razor to be transferred in real-time, updating the arm’s position at hundreds of beats a second, to sync with the Robot Barber arm at Snowdon / Yr Wyddfa. The impressive precision was so accurate, viewers could see the barber breathing by looking at the robot arm.
Ellis is finally revealed clean-shaven for the first time in 6 years.
Kelly Engstrom, Brand & Demand Generation Communications Director at EE, said: “As the world begins to open up again, we want customers to feel inspired about what they can do when armed with the EE network. We shoot our campaigns live over our public network, to show what’s possible, no matter how extreme. No smoke and mirrors, this really happened.”
Guillermo Vega, CCO at Saatchi & Saatchi, said: “We’ve been working with EE to show what its network and technology can do today, in a typically EE fun and irreverent way. While consumers may not be in the market for a remote shave right now, the performance of EE’s network to handle such a task is a pretty fun way to let consumers know that when it comes down to it – you can count on EE.”
ADVERTISING AGENCY: SAATCHI & SAATCHI LONDON
CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER: GUILLERMO VEGA
EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: DAN TREICHEL
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: FRANCESCO GRANDI
HEAD OF ART: RODRIGO CASTELLARI
CREATIVES: ALICE MARANI AND CRISTIANA CANDIDO
PLANNING PARTNER: KRISTIAN HENSCHEL
SENIOR PLANNER: JACK TREW
MANAGING PARTNER: HUMPHREY TAYLOR
BUSINESS LEADER: CHARLOTTE ELWIG
ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: VITALIA FLORIS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: RICHARD FIRMINGER
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: GEORGIA DAY
MEDIA BUYING AGENCY: ESSENCE
PLANNING DIRECTOR: SOPHIE FRANKS
PLANNING MANAGER: GRACE MURPHY
PRODUCTION COMPANY: SMUGGLER
DIRECTOR: HENRY ALEX RUBIN
TECH PRODUCTION COMPANY: THE MILL EXPERIENCE
EDITOR: SCOT CRANE @ THE QUARRY
AUDIO: JON CLARKE @ FACTORY
CITY / COUNTRY: UK