Orange Is the New Black’s Latest Inmate Is a Character From a Virgin Ad Campaign

BBH sends its night owl to Litchfield

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Last year, Virgin Media in the U.K. introduced an ad character who's literally a night owl, staying up late to binge-watch show after show on Netflix. Now, that owl—who goes by the name Ally McNab—is one step closer to her anti-heroes on Orange Is the New Black.

A new campaign from BBH London, pushing Netflix streaming on Virgin, actually sends Ally to Litchfield Penitentiary, where she becomes the latest orange-clad newbie inmate. And the show's famous characters even filmed scenes with their freaky new cellmate. (Not surprisingly, Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren takes a shine to her new feathered friend—either because they have a similar stare, or because Crazy Eyes befriends everyone.)

The spot actually combines new and existing footage. It's an interesting bit of film, considering all the players involved.

"It's a piece of content involving an entertainment property, a subscription streaming service and a broadband provider," says Jeremy Ettinghausen, innovation director at BBH and BBH Labs. "It stars characters from a TV show interacting with characters from an advertising campaign, in an advertising campaign for a TV show, a broadband provider and a subscription entertainment service. Is this a new content type? We don't know. Is it interesting? We think so, maybe simply because we can't put it in a box."

The campaign is running online, on social media, in retail, and on video on demand. The third season of Orange Is the New Black hits Netflix on Friday.


Client: Virgin Media

Head of Brand Advertising, Sponsorship: Ellie Tory

Partnership Marketing Lead: Rob Cannon

Agency: BBH, London

Creative Team: Dan Morris, Charlene Chandrasekaran

Creative Directors: Tom Drew, Uche Ezugwu

Strategist: Elle Graham-Dixon

Account Team: Phil Lloyd

Production Company: Black Sheep Studios

Editing House: Black Sheep Studios

Postproduction: OutpostVFX

Sound: Factory

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.