Virgin Mobile shows the way

By Rohit Nautiyal , afaqs!, New Delhi | In OOH News | November 20, 2008
Virgin Mobile and its creative agency, Bates 141, have launched an innovative pan-India signboard campaign

Virgin & #BANNER1 & # Mobile is out to woo youngsters, its target audience, with new mobile plans and call tariff launches. Last month, afaqs! carried a report on how the company used innovative outdoor for the launch of its Yo-Yo tariff plan. Now, the service provider has gone a step ahead with a simple yet gripping outdoor campaign for its 50 paise STD Local Tariff plan.

The new plan allows Virgin Mobile customers to make STD and local calls at 50 paise per minute without any extra charges. Customers calling any number, mobile or landline, across networks in India, will have to pay only 50 paise per minute after the initial three minutes of the day.

Unlike the outdoor campaign for the Yo-Yo plan, which had multiple innovations, the new campaign uses a standard creative. The campaign, ideated by Bates 141, shows the picture of a direction hoarding often seen on important city roads and highways.

The arrows on the hoarding point in three different directions, leading to the three metros, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Mumbai. Under the names of the metros, instead of distance in kilometres, one can see '50 p'. The copy reads: "Call anywhere @ 50 p/min with no extra costs".

The outdoor campaign has been executed across India by Poster Publicity, a unit of Group M's Kinetic Worldwide. It covers 55 cities and more than 450 distinct sites. Around 240 billboards, 42 bus shelters, 11 unipoles and skywalks have been used in Bengaluru. In Delhi, Virgin has used 17 translites and 25 signages at Delhi Metro properties and 110 pole kiosks. Transit media such as bus branding, radio cabs and mobile vans have also been used in Kolkata and Bengaluru.

The campaign kicked off in mid October and will run till the end of November.

afaqs! spoke to Rohit Malkani, creative director, Bates 141, who explained the rationale behind using the simple but eye catching creative: "We wanted to use an image that is seen on a daily basis by our target audience. The campaign shows a direction hoarding, which looks familiar. A second look will establish that a direction hoarding has been tailored to advertise Virgin Mobile's 50 paise STD Local Tariff plan. Virgin Mobile's philosophy of 'Think Hatke' is manifested to the core in this campaign."

The outdoor campaign is part of a larger marketing campaign supported by television, Internet and on-ground activations.

Virgin Mobile has used outdoor consistently, right from its launch, to promote its services. Prasad Narasimhan, chief marketing officer, Virgin Mobile, says, "We use outdoor as a very strategic medium for our communication. The youth love to spend a lot of time out of home and we like to speak and connect with them at high youth footfall areas. Outdoor, therefore, becomes an important part of our campaigns."

Narasimhan adds, "This medium allows us to amplify the creative idea in many ways and permits us to have a long lasting presence, while leaving an impact on the consumer's mind. According to us, it is one of the most important components of the advertising mix, which captures the imagination of the youth and relates to them."

For the record, Virgin Mobile branded services are being offered to Indian consumers by Tata Teleservices through a brand franchise. Virgin Mobile provides Tata Teleservices with experience and services in the designing, marketing and servicing of Virgin Mobile branded products.

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