Virgin Mobile finds its celeb fit in Ranbir Kapoor and Genelia D'Souza

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | January 22, 2010
The youth-focussed mobile services provider has also announced the launch of its GSM services in five southern circles in the country

Salesman of the year, Rocket Singh aka Ranbir Kapoor and Genelia D'Souza have been appointed as the brand ambassadors for the telecom operator, Virgin Mobile.

Known for its whacky advertising, the telecom operator will use the duo primarily in television commercials. Bates 141 currently handles the creative duties for the company.

The company has also announced the launch of its GSM services in five southern circles in the country.

"We are making a big change in our business by entering GSM, which is much bigger play compared to what we were earlier. Along with that kind of bigger play, some kind of 'signal', to show that we have entered, is also very important. And the use of ambassadors is one such step," Prasad Narasimhan, chief marketing officer, Virgin Mobile tells afaqs!.

He adds that while looking for brand ambassadors, it is important to see if they fit the bill -- whether the brand could build on them and whether they could build the brand.

Rationalising the company's decision to choose the duo, Narasimhan says, "In the two, we have an extremely good fit for our brand, in not only what we are, but also what we want to be going forward in GSM -- which is being the ultimate network for friends to be on. Kapoor is one of the desired guys today, and similarly, D'Souza is known as a next-door, fun-loving girl. And both of them are popular, affluent with recognised faces."

As part of the promotion, D'Souza also met the dealers of Virgin Mobile in Bengaluru.

Ranbir Kapoor currently endorses Pepsi and Panasonic's Vierra range of flat screen TVs and home theatre systems; while Genelia D'Souza endorses Cadbury Perk, Dabur Vatika and Fanta.

With this move, Virgin Mobile joins the other big telecom players, in that all of them have celebrity endorsers. For instance, Deepika Padukone endorses state-run telecom firm BSNL; Kajol endorses Tata Indicom; Hrithik Roshan is the brand ambassador for Reliance Communication; and Abhishek Bachchan is associated with Idea Cellular. Airtel has several celebrity endorsers, including Madhavan, Vidya Balan, Gautam Gambhir, Zaheer Khan, AR Rahman and Shahrukh Khan. While Vodafone uses Zoozoos in its ads now, Irfan Khan has also been endorsing the brand.

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