Oct 3, 2008

Mktg - India;Virgin Mobile woos youngsters with innovative outdoors

Rohit Nautiyal

Telecom as a category is one of the biggest spenders on outdoor today and also experiments with many innovations. Virgin Mobile, the youth focused mobile service launched in India in March, has launched an innovative outdoor campaign to promote its new Yo-Yo plan. The campaign comprises of large format billboards and bus and lift branding.Virgin Mobile’s Yo-Yo plan comes with an activation charge of Rs 28 per month. It is GPRC (get paid for receiving calls) activated. A subscriber making a call will be charged 10 paisa for outgoing calls to another subscriber, but will be paid back the amount if the same subscriber calls back, thereby making his outgoing call totally free. The campaign communicates the message, Keep calls between your friends free, in different ways. One of the innovative mechanised billboards has a cut out of a 10 paise coin, swinging like a pendulum between two friends, communicating that calls between two people in the plan will be free.
The second innovative billboard shows two friends playing volleyball, where the 'ball' between them is actually a 10 paise coin. The moving light technique on the billboard has been done in such a way that it seems as if the coin is moving from one person to the other. Another mechanised billboard shows a cut out of two men on either side of a see-saw, trying to strike a balance. The see-saw has a 10 paise coin in the centre – communicating that the money is changing hands between them. One billboard has an hourglass in a wheel, with two friends on either side of the wheel. Small 10 paise coins inside the hourglass move as the Ferris wheel rotates.Bus wraps and lift branding has also been used in the campaign. The buses have vinyl wrapping of the brand and a cut out of two friends on a call, with a connecting cord. Lift branding has been done in an engaging way. The outer side of the lift door carries the message ‘Earn 10p for incoming’, while inside the lift, a similar sign says, ‘Pay 10p for outgoing’.The campaign has been carried out in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Indore. It kicked off on September 1 and is expected to continue for another couple of weeks.
Rohit Malkani
Prasad NarasimhanBates 141 is the agency handling Virgin Mobile’s creatives. Rohit Malkani, creative director, Bates 141, explains how reciprocation is the core idea behind the campaign. “Friendship is all about give and take and this principle is what makes the Yo-Yo scheme work. The scheme is tailor-made for youngsters who like to be mad and inventive.”Prasad Narasimhan, chief marketing officer, Virgin Mobile India, tells afaqs!, “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. Normal outdoors are being used to create a certain sense of visibility, while innovations in outdoor further help to drive more outstanding impact and capture the imagination of the youth.”He adds that various media on OOH are adapted to amplify the creative idea. In this case, it was about highlighting how reciprocation among friends can make calls between them free. The campaign has been executed by OOH specialist agency Poster Publicity, a unit of Group M's Kinetic Worldwide.Raj Mohanty, senior business director, Poster Publicity, shares that nowadays, brands rely heavily on outdoor campaigns to connect with the young target audience. He says, “Youngsters are mostly out of their homes for work or leisure. They are not interested in following television. Rather, visiting a pub or a mall will interest them. That is why brands choose to go for destination branding, which provides better exposure with the help of interactive media.”Virgin Mobile branded services are being offered to the Indian consumers by Tata Teleservices through a brand franchise. Virgin Mobile will provide Tata Teleservices with the experience and services in designing, marketing and servicing of Virgin Mobile branded products.

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