Losing cell service sucks. That’s why it’s important to have access to the fastest, broadest network available. EE – the UK’s largest mobile service provider – recently put their 5G service to test in a daring new ad featuring Lucifer actor Tom Ellis.

A cut above the competition

The ad opens with Ellis climbing up the side of Mount Snowdon, Britain’s tallest mountain – located 729 meters above sea level. While he climbs, he’s on a video call with Kevin Bacon, who is sitting inside a barber shop in London. When he reaches the top, a barber chair with a large robotic arm awaits.

As Ellis settles into his chair atop the mountain, we see Bacon’s barber friend in London put on a special motion-sensing glove. When he moves his hand, the robotic arm moves in tandem, picking up a flat-edged razor.

“This thing is going to shave me?” Ellis asks, watching the arm draw close to his face. “Kev, are you sure this is a good idea? Cause I do need this face.”

Bacon responds, “Relax. It’s all connected to the EE network.”

For the next 50 seconds, Ellis tries not to squirm while his devilish beard is carefully shaven from his chiseled chin with the use of cutting-edge technology. The hair-raising – or perhaps more accurately, hair-levelling – spot may look unreal, but EE Communications Director Kelly Engstrom assures us that it actually happened. Engstrom recently said of the demo:

“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.”

Tech as publicity

More and more companies are including the development of unorthodox technologies in their marketing strategies for publicity. Charmin, for example, developed a robot that can bring you toilet paper from another room when you are, shall we say – stranded while enthroned. And in April, Domino’s announced its partnership with Nuro to introduce autonomous delivery vehicles for its services.

Granted, in EE’s case, a robotic arm that can be controlled from miles away for a shave is a just a little more tangentially related to the service being offered. But it’s not unrelated – on the contrary, it directly demonstrates its effectiveness. The result is an ad segment that is just bizarre enough to be brilliant.