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Judo-obsessed dog stars in latest Virgin Mobile viral

LONDON - A judo-obsessed dog on a blind date is the star of a new viral marketing campaign tying in with Virgin Mobile's Christmas camera phone promotion.

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The clip, created by 12foot6 and launched by Digital Media Communications, shows a dog on a blind date with a lady dog. The two dogs sip red wine and chat about their hobbies, and it becomes apparent that the male dog is somewhat obsessed with judo. But just as he seems to be making progress, it goes horribly wrong, when his judo training partner becomes jealous.

James Kydd, brand director for Virgin Mobile, said that the viral tied in with the current camera phone print campaign, which is about taking snapshots during humorously named events such as "Nuns on Ice" to "Topless Trampolining".

"When we saw the animated characters created by 12foot6, a 'Dog Judo' event fitted perfectly with both the camera phone campaign and our brand's renowned sense of humour. So we agreed to sponsor a funny new web-exclusive animation series from 12foot6, using DMC's viral and buzz marketing expertise to launch it among entertainment-hungry, highly active online users," Kydd said.

As well as being spread virally, the campaigns appear on the Dog Judo microsite. There are two episodes at the moment, "Powerdate" and "Purist", with further episodes planned for next year.

Justin Kirby, managing director of DMC, said: "Virgin Mobile is again demonstrating its understanding of the consumer-driven, peer-to-peer viral marketing arena, sponsoring highly appropriate, cult-like creative material and using our online seeding expertise to kickstart buzz and maximise its spread."

Virgin Mobile is a long-time proponent of viral marketing, launching many of its celebrity-led ad campaigns, including those starring Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes, via viral campaigns before they appear on television.

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