Naughty or nice, Virgin Mobile doesn’t care

The mobile operator's new holiday campaign engages consumers with angels, devils and maybe even an appearance from 'Jesus' himself.

Virgin Mobile Canada’s new holiday campaign launched last Friday, just in time for the busiest time of the year. ‘Somewhere between 30 and 40% of activations in the mobile industry are done at this time of year, so it’s really important,’ CMO Nathan Rosenberg tells MiC.

The theme of the campaign, which promotes feature-packed multimedia phones such as the Motorola KRZR and the Samsung M510, is ‘Naughty or Nice? Who cares?’ The TV spot shows people wearing either angel halos or devil horns – all of which vanish as they receive their new phones. Tagline: ‘Despite what Santa says, it doesn’t really matter to us whether you’re naughty or nice because we think everyone deserves a Virgin Mobile.’

Music plays a big role in the campaign. Rosenberg says they’ve received 47 phone calls and about 30 emails asking about the song in the spot, ‘Pogo’ by Digitalism, in the last two days. The song will be available free for download for Virgin customers at this week.

‘The key lyrics are ‘there’s something in the air,” explains Rosenberg. ‘It’s upbeat, and it felt really seasonal without having to play a Christmas carol.’

The campaign takes the ‘naughty or nice’ theme and runs with it across all media. Street teams wearing halos and horns will hit the pavement, plus Virgin stores and possibly even competitors’ retail locations to hand out swag and spread holiday cheer. And next week the operator will also release its own list of which celebrities have been naughty or nice, based on a poll of 1,000 Canadians (hint: Britney isn’t getting any presents).

As well, some videos Rosenberg says weren’t quite right for TV will launch on YouTube next week. ‘I’ll let you play with your imagination on that one. . . there’s a special guest star in there that the whole holiday season focuses on.’

The campaign also includes direct mail and outdoor, as well as an internal employee engagement aspect in which all staff will be given halos or horns to wear to a company launch event, and get the chance to win Virgin Atlantic flights for wearing their headgear for a whole week.

The creative was done by Zig with media agency Wills and Co., both of Toronto. The campaign runs till the end of December.

On a more serious note, Virgin’s employee charity Virgin Unite will be at Dundas Square in Toronto tomorrow and Friday for Test your Commitment, a public awareness and mobile testing campaign marking World AIDS Day. In partnership with bioLytical Laboratories and UNICEF Canada, the campaign will provide the public with access to live demonstrations of INSTI. The only Health Canada-approved diagnostic kit for point-of-care testing, it delivers HIV results in 60 seconds.