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Aviators take to the skies once again

Comcast ad campaign honors veterans

“The Aviators” short film from Comcast. Photo credits: Comcast

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In conjunction with May being Military Appreication Month, Comcast recently released "The Aviators" ad campaign to honor the nation's veterans, service members and their families.

"For more than 60 years, Comcast had had a special relationship with the military community ... and we're proud to reaffirm that commitment again today," said Mona Dexter, Vice President, Comcast Military & Veterans Affairs in a press release.

The short video tells the story of a grandfather (played superbly by actor Martin LaPlatney) anticipating a weekend reunion with his fellow Navy shipmates. As he describes the aviators he flew with and the experience of flying an A-4 Skyhawk to Ellie, his granddaughter (seen through flashbacks set to inspiring music and seamless scenes' transitions), she is inspired to surprise the aging aviators with an experience they never could have imagined: virtual reality headgear that allows the aviators to fly together again thanks to the power of the advanced Xfinity network.

The inspiration for the "The Aviators" came from Jim Elliot, executive creative director with the firm Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Witnessing his two sons showing his 90-year-old father-in-law, an Air Force veteran, how to fly again with a virtual reality headset gave him the idea.

"The technology opens a window to be able to touch and taste and feel those experiences again," said Army veteran Sean Casey, Comcast's Director of Communications for Military & Veterans Affairs, "as well as allowing for different generations to connect."

The cast features a group of Vietnam veterans who flew the Skyhawk. Former Navy Commander Jack Gillett (call sign "Razor") former Navy Lieutenant Jim Lloyd (call sign "Zeke") and former Navy Lieutenant Bill Moir (call sign "Offender") flew together as members of the Gunslingers Squadron on the USS Saratoga. Rounding out the group is former Marine Sergeant and Air Force Major Elester (call sign "Hollywood').

"It's a real honor to work with our nation's veterans," commented Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow. "They're special people, who've devoted their lives to our security. I feel like it's my opportunity to give back."

Joining Bigelow were  three other Oscar winners, director and producer Greig Fraser, sound designer Paul Ottosson, and music composer Hans Zimmer. 

For Bill Moir, the experience was exhilarating.

"I can't say enough about the way we were treated and what the technology means," he commented. "A whole lot of Navy pilots did we what did, and I am sure there were some who were better," he commented, "but I am glad the four of us were able to do this."

In rolling out the ad campaign, Comcast introduced a portfolio of new Xfinity Military discounts and dedicated offerings to ensure veterans, service members and military spouses and their dependents stay connected to the Xfinity network's unmatched speed and reliability.

"The truth is, these sorts of miraculous, intergenerational moments of connections are happening every day across the country, thanks to Xfinity," commented Elliot.

Throughout 2024, Comcast will support several military-serving nonprofits advancing digital equity with grants totaling more than $1 million.

"It is exactly that; it's about connectivity, speed and top-notch service," concluded Casey. "But more important, this ad campaign is about treating our veterans with the respect and dignity for all that they've done for us. We owe them a lot."

To learn more, visit To see the video, Google Xfinity's "The Aviators."


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