Virgin puts incentive into user-generated mobile content

Virgin Mobile is getting into the user-generated content arena by giving customers the power to express themselves on Studio V. And there's a built-in incentive for making content that's good enough to go viral.

Virgin Mobile Canada has launched a new user-generated content zone, Studio V, at its website. Virgin Mobile members can upload unique ringtones and wallpapers for others to judge and download to their mobile phones. Content creators earn 10-cent top-up credits to their Virgin Mobile accounts each time another member downloads their masterpieces. Studio V has a built-in mixer, so members can pick and mix from over 3,000 beats, grooves and effects. Personal photography or graphic designs can be uploaded for creating wallpapers. While the incentive to share content exists, users can host their stuff in personal studios hosted on the site. About 1,500 Virgin Mobile members have posted original ringtones and wallpaper to Studio V, based on the initial word-of-mouth.

The Studio V launch follows an attempt by Virgin Mobile Canada to dip into the realm of viral video for a good cause. Dubbed a viral philanthropy project, the Virgin Mobile Reindeer campaign consisted of 28 short films posted to YouTube, each featuring a different celebrity autographing and decorating a five-foot inflatable reindeer and sharing ‘first time’ stories. At the conclusion of each clip, viewers could link to eBay to bid on that celebrity’s reindeer, with proceeds going to Virgin Unite. The campaign was spearheaded by Toronto-based Wills & Co. and Stick.y Ltd, which secured the sessions with artists such as The Tragically Hip, OK Go, The Royal Canadian Air Farce, Kenny Hotz (of Showcase’s Kenny Vs Spenny), writer/director Bob Clark (Porky’s, Black Christmas), various ‘Canadian Idols’, and CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos. Hill & Knowlton handled PR for the viral video campaign and the Studio V launch.

For more on Studio V, visit For more on Virgin Mobile’s viral reindeer, click here.