Needing to act as a challenger in the Indian market, Virgin Mobile India questioned the accepted wisdom that you had to advertise heavily and target older customers. But to reach the Millennial generation, it tried a different strategy that paid off. Virgin Mobile India, used bitesized videos on Youtube to attract Indian youth.
They chose to portray the spirit of youthful rebellion in its communications and focus resources largely within the online environment.YouTube formed the core of this video- centric campaign. At first three brand films championing youthful rebellion were released to kickoff the campaign. Which was followed by more that 100, 15-second films. The release of these films coincided with the live broadcast on YouTube of Indian Premier League ( In India Cricket is almost a religious experience )
The humorous films of rival fans insulting’ each other’s teams over the phone was released on YouTube alongside the relevant IPL matches. Edgy language was deliberately used to maximise pass-along potential, and social currency , this reflects the way youth in India usually speak with their friends. Facebook and Twitter was used to spread awareness of the campaign with links to the Films. Twitter was used to report live scores of the match.
The films were viewed by the public as popular entertainment, but the underlying objective of this campaign was to create awareness of the brand, position Virgin Mobile as a youth brand and subtly sell the benefits and furthermore maximise Youtube views of the brand.
In a world where youth is constantly engaging with the wider world using social media platforms, it is difficult to isolate the specific contribution of the online videos on how a brand can be perceived. With this campaign it can be deduced that the humorous videos may have affected the brand’s metrics which continues to show that its communications output was considered more distinctive and innovative than that of rival Indian telecoms brands who are solely relying on advertising alone to position themselves.
The Short Films created by Virgin Mobile India can be viewed here