afaqs!

Think Virgin to solve problems

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | March 12, 2008
Virgin Mobiles and The Times of India saw red on March 10. Read on to find out why

Virgin Mobile & #BANNER1 & # is here... and shrieking its arrival. The front page of The Times of India carried the print ad of the newest entry into the mobile industry in India on March 10. The ad leapt out at the reader, with its sensational claim, Get Paid for Incoming. What's more, the headlines of all the news stories on the front page of the TOI were red. And this is only one part of the campaign Virgin has planned for India after its announcement of the joint venture with Tata TeleServices. The same innovation was also carried in Dainik Jagran and Sandesh.

The print ad. Click here to
view bigger image.
Other initiatives include two television commercials targeting the youth. The first one narrates the story of a teenage girl telling her parents that she doesn't like boys. This leads to her parents worrying over how to get her to like boys. Her father extols the virtues of going out with boys, and sanctions a trip to Goa with her boyfriend.

In the second film, a boy gets caught by a policeman for not heeding a stop light. When the boy calls his 'Papa' to bail him out, the policeman is told by the furious 'Papa' that he wants his son thrown into jail and slapped soundly. The policeman's heart melts and he lets the youngster go. The 'Papa', it is later revealed, is none other than the boy's friend. (Submit your opinion on this ad.)

Both commercials end with the tagline, 'Think Hatke.'

Calling Papa

Saved the day
Rajeev Raja, executive creative director, Bates David India, says that these first campaigns for Virgin Mobile set out to unearth a unique insight of Indian youth and convert that into a creative expression that best connected with them.

Raja shares his experiences on the conceptualisation process. He says, "Even before ideating, we studied the youth of India very closely and realised that unlike their Western counterparts, who were more prone to rebellion and public protest, Indian youth found smart ways around life's sanctions. Once we hit upon this insight, it was just a matter of brainstorming. Thousands of ideas were tossed around, after which we honed in on the current ones."

The concept reflects the edginess and street smartness of the youth of today.

Prasad Narasimhan, chief marketing officer, Virgin Mobiles, talks of the brief that was discussed with the agency. "We wanted to portray regular situations - sometimes problem, sometimes opportunity - and how to use that in the linear world - this was asked to be propagated in the communication," he says.

Making trouble

Thinking differently
When asked if Virgin Mobile used the same concept in international market as well, Narasimhan says, "Basically, Virgin is focused on its customer segments in each country. And that is different in different places. On the whole, the company is based on four brand values - a fun element, being direct, being a consumer champion and being flexible - those values are reflected through these ads."

Given the fact that mobile ads are aired in hordes on television, what is the differentiation factor in these two? Raja says, "The entire character of the Virgin Mobile brand is drawn from the maverick persona of its founder, Sir Richard Branson. Therefore, it will constantly push the envelope in terms of its irreverence and cheekiness. This will carve out a unique identity for Virgin Mobile."

The team which worked on the ads include Rajeev Raja, executive creative director, Rohit Malkani, creative director, and Rajesh Krishnan of Soda Films, Darshan Choudari, creative director, and Kruti Sheth, art director.