The mobile phone service company’s new number portability campaign is insightful and perfectly targets the youngsters who are its core customer base
I have always thought if there's one mobile phone service brand that's got it right in terms of communicating with the Indian youth, it is Virgin Mobile. The brand's advertising is always whacky, funny and irreverent. And it's the same case with Virgin Mobile's new number portability campaign.
The core theme involves a 'break-up'. Using the example of break-ups between young partners, the brand asks mobile phone consumers to break up with their current service provider.
In one commercial, a dude is lying on a hospital bed with his gal by his side. He tells her about an injury on the testicles he suffered while playing cricket, which now means he can't have sex again. The girl immediately vanishes from the scene. The voice over says: "Does your mobile phone operator leave you when you really need it?"
In another ad, a boy arrives at a girl's house and tells her his dad asked him to choose between his 'will' and the girl's 'dil'. And that he chose the latter. The girlfriend is furious and slams the door on him. The boy is elated at having got rid of a gold digger. This ad points to service operators who are only interested in billing their customers.
Likewise, in the third commercial, a girl catches a chap cheating on her with another girl. She feigns pregnancy, and thus gets rid of the other girl, who slaps the cad and walks off. And then our smart, revengeful gal dumps the cheater.
Given Virgin's wicked brand personality, this is a perfect campaign for its number portability effort. And it's insightful too. Kids today are commitment phobic, and jump from one partner to another quite rapidly. They like to experiment a lot, with technology and with dates. So the marriage of the two works out quite nicely. Young India will enjoy these commercials. Because they are not just entertaining, they are born out of a strong insight.
Compare this with IDEA's rather sedate approach on number portability, which is targeted at almost everyone, and you get the picture. Because most service providers are generic in their advertising, Virgin's best bet to remaining unique and hatke is to create and package communication that purely targets the youngsters. This strategy may never make them the market leader, but allows the brand to sit pretty on an assured, solid market segment. Smart thinking.
The crisis has escalated today. Two more blasts and a fire have rocked a quake-stricken atomic power plant, sending radiation up to dangerous levels. Radiation around the Fukushima No1 plant on the eastern coast has risen "considerably", the Japanese Prime Minister has finally admitted.
The Department of Atomic Energy and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India are supposed to check whether India's nuclear reactors will be able to withstand the impact of large natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes. Out of India's 20 nuclear reactors, two are the same design as those in Japan that are at the risk of a meltdown.