Virgin mobile is back in the news, doing what it does the best - thinking 'hatke'! The mobile brand's new set of commercials, launched as a part of its GSM launch campaign, adds a dash of glamour to the brand DNA of youthfulness and fun, showing actor Ranbir Kapoor getting naughty-witty with his Virgin Mobile.
With its GSM offering, Virgin has entered a new brand space called Network Alchemy, which is all about the power of a network and how best one can use his network of friends to go ahead in life. In terms of product offering, too, it has brought back the 'get paid for incoming' tariff and combined it with economic outgoing call rates. The new campaign aims at integrating the brand idea of Network Alchemy with the product idea of getting paid for incoming calls and having cheaper call rates on outgoing, STD and local calls at 20p/min.
Towards the end of the ads, he spends the money he has collected from these incoming calls to talk for long hours with his girlfriend.
In short, the creative concept explored in the ad is that the more incoming calls one takes, the more outgoing calls one can make.
According to Bates 141, the creative agency behind the campaign, a lot of research went into developing the new brand space for Virgin. Its research shows that today's youth looks at innovative ways to cut down their mobile expenses. Using multiple SIM cards is one of these ways. Most youngsters today carry a CDMA, a GSM and a couple of SIMs within the GSM so that they can switch SIMs as per their convenience and cut down their mobile expenses.
They are not at all brand loyal and turn to operators which give them the best deal. Virgin, with its new product offering, intends to cash in on this behaviour of the youth, confirms the agency.
The objective behind the campaign is to get more acquisition in the segment. Known for its CDMA services, this time Virgin Mobile is venturing into the GSM space, which is already crowded with many players. As Virgin competes with the likes of MTS, Uninor and Videocon, it wants to keep its focus fixed on the youth. It aims to attract the maximum number of youth with products exclusively designed for them. The idea is to make them look at Virgin Mobile as their own network.
Virgin has already launched its GSM service in15 circles but the campaign for the same, featuring Ranbir Kapoor and Genelia D'Souza, has been released only in the Southern states and Maharashtra. Unlike the recently launched national campaign, it mainly pushed the STD at 20p proposition.
The cost of the current campaign is Rs 8-9 crore and the media used is mostly TV, print, outdoor and digital.
A virgin thought, is it?
"As ideas, these are entertaining and fun. However, I liked the poster one better as in terms of insight, it's truer, while the other two look more convoluted for advertising," says Brijesh Jacob, managing partner, White Canvas. However, he doubts whether Ranbir Kapoor was actually needed for the commercial.
On the other hand, Vineet Mahajan, senior creative director, McCann Erickson Delhi observes that this is not the best from the Virgin stable and could have been made sharper and funnier. "Virgin Mobile brand has been associated with quirkiness. Somewhere, these ones are a little low on that."
Jacob goes a step ahead and remarks at the latest campaign's striking similarity with an earlier set of commercials from the Virgin stable. "Although entertaining and funny, I find it quite similar to one of its earlier campaigns. That campaign, too, talked about making people call you and making money out of it. The only difference here is Ranbir Kapoor doing things while in those, a bunch of not-so-famous boys were ideating for the same.
"It seems like they have just extended the idea from there and didn't push it enough," he adds.