Statue of a monster designed to look like Richard Branson placed in the sea at Bournemouth as PR stunt

Picture by Toby Wadey

Picture by Hannah Walker

'Monster' in the sea at Bournemouth causes a stir

'Monster' in the sea at Bournemouth causes a stir

VIDEO: 'Monster' in the sea at Bournemouth causes a stir

VIDEO: 'Monster' in the sea at Bournemouth causes a stir

First published in News
Last updated
by

A SEA creature the size of a two-storey house was seen lurking on the shore at Bournemouth beach yesterday.

The sinister looking statue, which has more than a passing resemblance to entrepreneur Richard Branson, was erected around 500 yards east of Bournemouth Pier as part of a Virgin Media advertising film.

Chava Nichols, who was visiting the area from New York, said she was surprised to see the 25ft creature as she went out for a stroll in the morning sunshine.

"They have a saying - it only happens in New York. But after seeing this, I guess you could say it only happens in Bournemouth," she added.

Sophia Ray, of Nice and Polite Films, confirmed the statue, which was placed on the beach at 2am and weighs more than six tonnes, was being used as part of an advertising shoot for the telecommunications giant and deliberately styled to look like its distinctive boss.

A number of passers-by stopped to take pictures, including holidaymaker Alex Borland, who said he had to do a double take as he walked along the seafront.

“It reminded me of something out of the Jason and Argonauts movie,” he added. “For a moment I thought we were being invaded!”

Its appearance also caused a stir on Twitter, with residents sharing their pictures and speculating on its sudden appearance.

 

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth resident Nick Joy tweeted a picture of the statue to the Virgin boss, with the caption: “Bransonzilla spotted on Bournemouth beach this morning!”

Mr Branson replied: “Not sure I see the resemblance ;)”

A spokesperson for Virgin media said the structure had taken a team of sculptors more than 500 hours to design and produce.

Bournemouth Echo:

Did you take your picture with the Bransonzilla? send us your selfies to digital@bournemouthecho.co.uk - don't forget to include the name of the people in the picture!

Comments (30)

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10:20am Tue 10 Jun 14

Sir Beachy Head says...

I think Branson maybe losing the plot. His latest TV ad where he's on the back of a motorbike dressed as a hells angel with David Tennent riding up front makes him look a tit.
I think Branson maybe losing the plot. His latest TV ad where he's on the back of a motorbike dressed as a hells angel with David Tennent riding up front makes him look a tit. Sir Beachy Head
  • Score: -7

10:27am Tue 10 Jun 14

Bh_media says...

Personally i really like the Virgin adverts, they are different, slightly quirky and definitely unique, what other adverts are like that?
Personally i really like the Virgin adverts, they are different, slightly quirky and definitely unique, what other adverts are like that? Bh_media
  • Score: 26

10:40am Tue 10 Jun 14

nickynoodah says...

a geezer got fined for a fag end drop
so why shouldn't this teenuk get one slapped on him
a geezer got fined for a fag end drop so why shouldn't this teenuk get one slapped on him nickynoodah
  • Score: -45

10:52am Tue 10 Jun 14

504gld says...

I wonder how much they paid Bournemouth Borough Council ?
I wonder how much they paid Bournemouth Borough Council ? 504gld
  • Score: 30

11:52am Tue 10 Jun 14

GeorgeW64 says...

Was the photographer too scared to get up close to take a proper close up picture ?
Was the photographer too scared to get up close to take a proper close up picture ? GeorgeW64
  • Score: 23

12:09pm Tue 10 Jun 14

raynad says...

Thought the surf reef in Boscombe had decided to go "Home"
Thought the surf reef in Boscombe had decided to go "Home" raynad
  • Score: -6

12:11pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Bawsack says...

Looks like my ex.. someone harpoon it!
Looks like my ex.. someone harpoon it! Bawsack
  • Score: 37

12:28pm Tue 10 Jun 14

keith milton says...

another satanic ritual on freemason island,

i hope this is some kind of prophetic sign.
another satanic ritual on freemason island, i hope this is some kind of prophetic sign. keith milton
  • Score: -21

12:31pm Tue 10 Jun 14

BIGTONE says...

It looks like Camilla had a twilight skinny.
It looks like Camilla had a twilight skinny. BIGTONE
  • Score: -7

1:54pm Tue 10 Jun 14

speedy231278 says...

It looks like it should be on the way to a council meeting.....
It looks like it should be on the way to a council meeting..... speedy231278
  • Score: -1

2:20pm Tue 10 Jun 14

spooki says...

Perhaps Mr Branson should put money toward peoples failing broadband or TV services and less towards sending us junk mail or giant beach statues? Just a suggestion.
Perhaps Mr Branson should put money toward peoples failing broadband or TV services and less towards sending us junk mail or giant beach statues? Just a suggestion. spooki
  • Score: 14

2:23pm Tue 10 Jun 14

benjaminmatthews93 says...

Turning our beautiful, free public beaches in a corporate, money-making business plot to make huge profit ----- Get off our beaches!
Turning our beautiful, free public beaches in a corporate, money-making business plot to make huge profit ----- Get off our beaches! benjaminmatthews93
  • Score: -18

2:39pm Tue 10 Jun 14

l'anglais says...

benjaminmatthews93 wrote:
Turning our beautiful, free public beaches in a corporate, money-making business plot to make huge profit ----- Get off our beaches!
I think BBC should adopt that as it's slogan.
Why not take away the pier, groins and promenade whilst you're at it.
[quote][p][bold]benjaminmatthews93[/bold] wrote: Turning our beautiful, free public beaches in a corporate, money-making business plot to make huge profit ----- Get off our beaches![/p][/quote]I think BBC should adopt that as it's slogan. Why not take away the pier, groins and promenade whilst you're at it. l'anglais
  • Score: -15

3:05pm Tue 10 Jun 14

benjaminmatthews93 says...

l'anglais wrote:
benjaminmatthews93 wrote:
Turning our beautiful, free public beaches in a corporate, money-making business plot to make huge profit ----- Get off our beaches!
I think BBC should adopt that as it's slogan.
Why not take away the pier, groins and promenade whilst you're at it.
erm bcos the pier is a tourist attraction providing the town with a healthy income, and the groins help to keep the sand on the beach? duh
[quote][p][bold]l'anglais[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]benjaminmatthews93[/bold] wrote: Turning our beautiful, free public beaches in a corporate, money-making business plot to make huge profit ----- Get off our beaches![/p][/quote]I think BBC should adopt that as it's slogan. Why not take away the pier, groins and promenade whilst you're at it.[/p][/quote]erm bcos the pier is a tourist attraction providing the town with a healthy income, and the groins help to keep the sand on the beach? duh benjaminmatthews93
  • Score: 7

6:02pm Tue 10 Jun 14

johnbournemouth says...

No problem with this , just a stunt and was much watched by walkers this morning but wonder if it will stand the next gales and will it call on the life guards to rescue it ??? ???
No problem with this , just a stunt and was much watched by walkers this morning but wonder if it will stand the next gales and will it call on the life guards to rescue it ??? ??? johnbournemouth
  • Score: 5

6:27pm Tue 10 Jun 14

s-pb2 says...

504gld wrote:
I wonder how much they paid Bournemouth Borough Council ?
A fair bit, they dont let people do this sort of thing for nothing.
[quote][p][bold]504gld[/bold] wrote: I wonder how much they paid Bournemouth Borough Council ?[/p][/quote]A fair bit, they dont let people do this sort of thing for nothing. s-pb2
  • Score: 4

6:30pm Tue 10 Jun 14

agp1337 says...

spooki wrote:
Perhaps Mr Branson should put money toward peoples failing broadband or TV services and less towards sending us junk mail or giant beach statues? Just a suggestion.
Hate to say it, but I've been with Virgin broadband for the best part of three years. When I moved into my flat I discovered that the previous tenant was an undischarged bankrupt. the 'phone worked, but BT could not provide me with a service as his direct debit was still in force, and it would have to lapse before they could transfer the line (about 3 months). Tried various other companies with no success, then Virgin. No problem, they said. They set up a new number on my line next day (I assume after liaising with BT), but the old line was still 'live' but not through to me so they got round this restriction. Router was with me that week and it has been fantastic, quick and reliable. A couple of months ago I rang them to ask if they could reduce the monthly cost. They did, by over £10. Happy bunny - but even happier when they rang back ten minutes later and said they'd found a better deal, another £5+ off. I think it depends on your personal experiences.
[quote][p][bold]spooki[/bold] wrote: Perhaps Mr Branson should put money toward peoples failing broadband or TV services and less towards sending us junk mail or giant beach statues? Just a suggestion.[/p][/quote]Hate to say it, but I've been with Virgin broadband for the best part of three years. When I moved into my flat I discovered that the previous tenant was an undischarged bankrupt. the 'phone worked, but BT could not provide me with a service as his direct debit was still in force, and it would have to lapse before they could transfer the line (about 3 months). Tried various other companies with no success, then Virgin. No problem, they said. They set up a new number on my line next day (I assume after liaising with BT), but the old line was still 'live' but not through to me so they got round this restriction. Router was with me that week and it has been fantastic, quick and reliable. A couple of months ago I rang them to ask if they could reduce the monthly cost. They did, by over £10. Happy bunny - but even happier when they rang back ten minutes later and said they'd found a better deal, another £5+ off. I think it depends on your personal experiences. agp1337
  • Score: 17

6:30pm Tue 10 Jun 14

s-pb2 says...

benjaminmatthews93 wrote:
Turning our beautiful, free public beaches in a corporate, money-making business plot to make huge profit ----- Get off our beaches!
People and companies have been hiring out parts of the beach for years for media and events, its nothing new. Makes perfect sense to me. I rather like the Godzilla, should keep it there.
[quote][p][bold]benjaminmatthews93[/bold] wrote: Turning our beautiful, free public beaches in a corporate, money-making business plot to make huge profit ----- Get off our beaches![/p][/quote]People and companies have been hiring out parts of the beach for years for media and events, its nothing new. Makes perfect sense to me. I rather like the Godzilla, should keep it there. s-pb2
  • Score: 17

7:16pm Tue 10 Jun 14

boardsandphotos says...

Sir Beachy Head wrote:
I think Branson maybe losing the plot. His latest TV ad where he's on the back of a motorbike dressed as a hells angel with David Tennent riding up front makes him look a tit.
.....and yet here you are Sir Bitchy Head along with The Echo and the rest of us talking about Richard Branson and his products and services so job done on his part.
[quote][p][bold]Sir Beachy Head[/bold] wrote: I think Branson maybe losing the plot. His latest TV ad where he's on the back of a motorbike dressed as a hells angel with David Tennent riding up front makes him look a tit.[/p][/quote].....and yet here you are Sir Bitchy Head along with The Echo and the rest of us talking about Richard Branson and his products and services so job done on his part. boardsandphotos
  • Score: 9

9:53pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Understated says...

boardsandphotos wrote:
Sir Beachy Head wrote:
I think Branson maybe losing the plot. His latest TV ad where he's on the back of a motorbike dressed as a hells angel with David Tennent riding up front makes him look a tit.
.....and yet here you are Sir Bitchy Head along with The Echo and the rest of us talking about Richard Branson and his products and services so job done on his part.
hell, he puts the effort in. he appears in his cheesy ads, he doesnt use some mediocre visual effect or cgi video with lousy watered down pop tunes which make you mute the tv every time its on

i appreciate he isnt sat in his chair yelling at people to make better adverts for him and actually partakes in them himself.
[quote][p][bold]boardsandphotos[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sir Beachy Head[/bold] wrote: I think Branson maybe losing the plot. His latest TV ad where he's on the back of a motorbike dressed as a hells angel with David Tennent riding up front makes him look a tit.[/p][/quote].....and yet here you are Sir Bitchy Head along with The Echo and the rest of us talking about Richard Branson and his products and services so job done on his part.[/p][/quote]hell, he puts the effort in. he appears in his cheesy ads, he doesnt use some mediocre visual effect or cgi video with lousy watered down pop tunes which make you mute the tv every time its on i appreciate he isnt sat in his chair yelling at people to make better adverts for him and actually partakes in them himself. Understated
  • Score: 3

10:23pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Yankee1 says...

Sir Beachy Head wrote:
I think Branson maybe losing the plot. His latest TV ad where he's on the back of a motorbike dressed as a hells angel with David Tennent riding up front makes him look a tit.
A self made billiionnaire 'tit'. With a real 'Sir' in bis name.
[quote][p][bold]Sir Beachy Head[/bold] wrote: I think Branson maybe losing the plot. His latest TV ad where he's on the back of a motorbike dressed as a hells angel with David Tennent riding up front makes him look a tit.[/p][/quote]A self made billiionnaire 'tit'. With a real 'Sir' in bis name. Yankee1
  • Score: 9

10:29pm Tue 10 Jun 14

X Old Bill says...

One small point - Richard Brandon does not own Virgin media.
Through a series of take overs and mergers he sold out the last interests of the company in 2013.
His only input is his agreement to take part in advertising.
One small point - Richard Brandon does not own Virgin media. Through a series of take overs and mergers he sold out the last interests of the company in 2013. His only input is his agreement to take part in advertising. X Old Bill
  • Score: 6

12:42am Wed 11 Jun 14

Rally says...

benjaminmatthews93 wrote:
l'anglais wrote:
benjaminmatthews93 wrote:
Turning our beautiful, free public beaches in a corporate, money-making business plot to make huge profit ----- Get off our beaches!
I think BBC should adopt that as it's slogan.
Why not take away the pier, groins and promenade whilst you're at it.
erm bcos the pier is a tourist attraction providing the town with a healthy income, and the groins help to keep the sand on the beach? duh
"... groins help to keep the sand on the beach."
Hmm, I thought that this kind of activity was confined to Shell Bay.

Actually, the correct word is: groynes.
[quote][p][bold]benjaminmatthews93[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]l'anglais[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]benjaminmatthews93[/bold] wrote: Turning our beautiful, free public beaches in a corporate, money-making business plot to make huge profit ----- Get off our beaches![/p][/quote]I think BBC should adopt that as it's slogan. Why not take away the pier, groins and promenade whilst you're at it.[/p][/quote]erm bcos the pier is a tourist attraction providing the town with a healthy income, and the groins help to keep the sand on the beach? duh[/p][/quote]"... groins help to keep the sand on the beach." Hmm, I thought that this kind of activity was confined to Shell Bay. Actually, the correct word is: groynes. Rally
  • Score: 5

7:20am Wed 11 Jun 14

retry69 says...

I am certainly pleased that they have given my Wind Turbine design a trial but just a tad to near the beach for the anti-wind farmers me thinks :)
I am certainly pleased that they have given my Wind Turbine design a trial but just a tad to near the beach for the anti-wind farmers me thinks :) retry69
  • Score: 5

9:51am Wed 11 Jun 14

retry69 says...

Sorry Rally that should read "too" not to,I believe :)
Sorry Rally that should read "too" not to,I believe :) retry69
  • Score: 3

9:52am Wed 11 Jun 14

disfan says...

to all the people that dont like it or the brand or Sir Richard, chill out! The statue is a stunt - its not there forever and it makes a lot of people smile! Wheres the harm?
the brand - i havent tried out the tv and internet service but the airline is very good. flown multiple times with Virgin Atlantic and it is a market leader for service (and yes - i have tried the competition).
And Sir Richard ... well love him or hate him, you cant deny that he is a good business leader who is forward thinking and not afraid to take a chance.
all i can say is that i hope the statue is there till at least Saturday so that i can get down to see it in person! i love it!
to all the people that dont like it or the brand or Sir Richard, chill out! The statue is a stunt - its not there forever and it makes a lot of people smile! Wheres the harm? the brand - i havent tried out the tv and internet service but the airline is very good. flown multiple times with Virgin Atlantic and it is a market leader for service (and yes - i have tried the competition). And Sir Richard ... well love him or hate him, you cant deny that he is a good business leader who is forward thinking and not afraid to take a chance. all i can say is that i hope the statue is there till at least Saturday so that i can get down to see it in person! i love it! disfan
  • Score: 3

10:36am Wed 11 Jun 14

BmthNewshound says...

Well its done the trick, got Virgin Media lots of free publicity in the Echo and got people talking. Its a mystery to me that anyone pays to advertise in the Echo when its so easy to get it for free.
Well its done the trick, got Virgin Media lots of free publicity in the Echo and got people talking. Its a mystery to me that anyone pays to advertise in the Echo when its so easy to get it for free. BmthNewshound
  • Score: 7

10:42am Wed 11 Jun 14

whataboutthat says...

BmthNewshound wrote:
Well its done the trick, got Virgin Media lots of free publicity in the Echo and got people talking. Its a mystery to me that anyone pays to advertise in the Echo when its so easy to get it for free.
Echo ad revenues look down to me that's why the cover price keeps going up. How long can it stay daily?
[quote][p][bold]BmthNewshound[/bold] wrote: Well its done the trick, got Virgin Media lots of free publicity in the Echo and got people talking. Its a mystery to me that anyone pays to advertise in the Echo when its so easy to get it for free.[/p][/quote]Echo ad revenues look down to me that's why the cover price keeps going up. How long can it stay daily? whataboutthat
  • Score: 0

7:48pm Thu 12 Jun 14

Dr Martin says...

Sir Beachy Head wrote:
I think Branson maybe losing the plot. His latest TV ad where he's on the back of a motorbike dressed as a hells angel with David Tennent riding up front makes him look a tit.
It must be all that weed he is smoking
[quote][p][bold]Sir Beachy Head[/bold] wrote: I think Branson maybe losing the plot. His latest TV ad where he's on the back of a motorbike dressed as a hells angel with David Tennent riding up front makes him look a tit.[/p][/quote]It must be all that weed he is smoking Dr Martin
  • Score: 0

12:40pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Top_Gear says...

'They have a saying - "it only happens in New York"

Nope, never heard of it.
'They have a saying - "it only happens in New York" Nope, never heard of it. Top_Gear
  • Score: 1

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