Virgin Plus taps into the Olympics for high visibility

The brand is trying some new tactics for broad, yet more targeted reach at the same time.

Virgin Mobile Canada is touting its rebrand to Virgin Plus in what is one of the telco’s biggest campaigns in 15 years, and it’s adding Olympic TV advertising and recording wild OOH postings for the first time.

Virgin Plus has devoted what is being called a “significantly larger” amount of quarterly spend to the rebranding campaign, compared to previous quarters, with Media Experts handling the media buy, in partnership with Leo Burnett (creative) and FleishmanHillard Highroad (PR).

“The switch to Virgin Plus was a significant adjustment for an iconic brand such as Virgin Mobile, so it was very important for us to pack a punch in all the right places,” Eleanor Bothwell, media account director, Media Experts, tells MiC.

Most notably, in addition to recording “wild posting stunts in Montreal and Toronto” for the first time, Bothwell says Virgin opted for a freshman presence on TV during the Olympics, going, overall, for high visibility, combined with strategic executions in key markets, “which was integral in ensuring this launch received the attention it deserves.”

On the wild postings, Bothwell says they wanted to “illustrate the brand’s transformation to its new, Virgin Plus identity in real time – a real-life event people out-and-about could see unfold as the week went on,” leading up to the big reveal.

More specifically, the media strategy focused on urban locations nationwide for the mobile offering, but because Virgin Plus’ new internet service is only available in Ontario and Quebec, “we had to be sure that we were localizing messaging to relevant markets as much as possible while also driving awareness around the new identity of Virgin Plus leaning into high trust, high awareness platforms like TV and OOH,” Bothwell says.

Virgin primarily targets 25- to 35-year-old value seekers looking to get more bang for their buck from their telco providers during the pandemic, but the hope is that the Virgin Plus campaign and media tactics will resonate with the whole household.


With files from Chris Lombardo.