Usain Bolt takes over from Ricky Gervais as the new face of Optus

Optus has snagged Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt as the new face of its mobile network ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The runner will take over from comedian Ricky Gervais whose commercials garnered mix opinions. The new advertising campaign will begin next month around the theme of ‘Relentless Improvement’.

Optus’ new campaign comes after all three telcos had a huge 2015 in improving their networks, with the company looking to retain its number 2 spot ahead of a surging Vodafone.

The 2015 Commsday annual mobile test put Optus as the second best provider in Australia last year, however Vodafone’s coverage was rising dramatically.

As part of the test, Commsday scores each telco out of 100. In the 2014 test, Optus scored 61, while in 2015 its score rose to 78. Vodafone scored 51 the previous year, but jumped massively to 72 in 2015. Telstra also improved, going from 79 to 85.

Optus’ previous campaigns with Ricky Gervais were an odd bunch, with Business Insider’s Simon Thomsen questioning whether they were so bad they were good, or just bad.

“It’s classic Gervais; a little cringeworthy, blurring the lines between truth and satire, but one of the two ads in the campaign, in which he says he doesn’t even know who Optus are and he’s only doing it after they said “OK” to “a shedload of cash, seriously mental money” just seems a little too cute and clever by half,” he wrote at the time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waymSm5lP-k

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