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Thursday, 17 July 2014

Vine lets Virgin Mobile "flirt"

Warc, 12 August 2013
NEW YORK: Virgin Mobile, the telecoms group, believes that video app Vine offers the ideal opportunity to "flirt" with consumers.

Ron Faris, Virgin Mobile's marketing director, suggested that Vine, which is owned by Twitter, provided an entertaining and engaging way to connect with internet users.

"It's flirting," he told NPR. "You're flirting with your prospect and it's as transient as the passing bus that has an ad for a summer blockbuster that captures your attention and then it leaves."

Faris reported that the company's strategy for reaching its target audience of young consumers is based around the "Virgin Touch", based upon reaching them in small ways on a large number of occasions.

"Vines, when you play them they auto repeat," he says. "Having someone sit through a Vine three times to see the beat of the message three times, that's frequency for us. That's worth something."

As members of Vine's user base are generally tech-savvy and fall into the 15-30 year old demographic, the service is an especially attractive one for Virgin Mobile.

"The more you're able to contribute to that community, the more that community will learn to consider your products and services especially if they've never heard of you before."

Virgin Mobile has partnered with Grape Story, a company which connects popular "Viners" with brands, to gain access to some of the most popular users of the site.

Allying with "Resident Viners", who make posts from Virgin Mobile's account for a fixed time period, helped it gain 30,000 followers in just three weeks.

It has also run a competition, under the title #happyaccidents, asking Vine members to submit videos showing how they get distracted by their phone.

This effort was based on the same premise as Virgin Mobile's latest TV campaign, and the best Vine videos are set to be included in its next television commercial.

"Vine is no different than Twitter, is no different from Facebook, is no different from Instagram. They're all water coolers," Faris said.

Data sourced from NPR/Harvard Business Review/Fast Company; additional content by Warc staff

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