afaqs!

Effies 2008: Virgin becomes a partner in crime

By Savia Jane Pinto , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | November 24, 2008
Research showed that the youth have discontinuous goals, they felt shortcuts were okay in life, and manipulation was fine. In all these plans, they wanted a partner in crime and Virgin chose to be that partner

Bates & #BANNER1 & # 141 had asked someone from The Great Indian Laughter Challenge to come over and make the presentation for them, in order to deal with the pressure that comes with the Effies, but were dumped at the last minute. Bates 141 was shortlisted for Virgin Mobile - Think Hatke in the Services category at the Effies 2008.

When the launch of Virgin Mobile was planned, Bates had a look at the international work that was done for the brand and felt that it needed to be funny, but with a twist. In the international market, the brand goes all out against the category norms and so it would in the Indian market as well. "It is a courageous brand," said Dheeraj Sinha, chief strategy officer at Bates 141.

The brand wanted to target the youth and thus appeal to them in a way that only they understood. While troubleshooting for ways of appealing to the youth, the Bates teams thought of other brands that were youth centric. But observations and research told them that all that was targeted for the youth was not necessarily affordable for the youth. For example, at a recent Shakira music concert, the maximum attendees were from the age group of 40-45 years. This was because a regular youngster could not afford the price of the concert ticket. So, it was obvious why the youth weren't where you'd expect them to be.

40 had become the new 20, and the true 20s were being squeezed out. Virgin wanted to create a brand for the 20 somethings. Research showed that the youth have discontinuous goals, they felt shortcuts were okay in life, and manipulation was fine. In all these plans, the youth wanted a partner in crime and Virgin chose to be that partner. The positioning thus was to bypass the firewall of sanction. And the television commercials that followed were an expression of that.

The launch was supported by print, outdoor and radio along with television. The results are for all to see. The average revenue per user was 30 per cent among the youth and the awareness, too, was high. The telecom service, which debuted in March this year, claims to have got 87 per cent awareness in that month; in the first five months after the launch, awareness was noted to be at 78 per cent.

The Effies 2008 case study presentations were held on November 20, 2008, at the Welingkar Institute of Management in Mumbai. The event has been sponsored by Yahoo! India, Marico, Vodafone and Brand Equity. The Effies are organised by Ad Club Mumbai and are based on the effectiveness of ad campaigns.