Virgin Mobile gets a new identity to reflect wider offerings

Virgin Plus is emphasizing the extra benefits and savings that come with a subscription, backed by one of its biggest-ever campaigns.

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Virgin Mobile Canada is now Virgin Plus, with the telco establishing a new identity based on perks that’s being amplified in one of its biggest campaigns in 15 years.

With the new name and identity comes a broad campaign, with the move meant to identify that Virgin is more than its mobile offerings: it’s that “Plus,” which covers internet and app-based TV services launched in summer 2020 for members in main markets such as Ontario and Quebec. While the TV services, launched last summer, are the newest part of the offering, the “Plus” also refers to other benefits that are available throughout Canada that have long been part of what Virgin has used to differentiate its brand, namely deals on food, fashion and entertainment.

A spot in a campaign introducing the new brand features a helicopter dropping off supplies in a freight container, which contains not just new decor and signage, but new devices and internet and TV offerings.

Jennifer Posnikoff, head of brand and marketing communications for Virgin Plus, tells strategy that the rebrand was put into motion pre-pandemic, driven by the fact that its service offering has been evolving, and it knew it needed a new name and logo to better represent the brand.

“We wanted to be really bold in our approach, an almost stunt-level approach to removing the old brand and bringing in the new one,” Posnikoff says.

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While the brand has been in the Canadian market for 15 years, the big goal for the campaign is awareness. According to the CRTC, Virgin has been able to hold its own against fellow “flanker” brands Fido and Koodo, but to put it over the top and also promote the new additions to its offering, the brand needed a “high impact campaign that would break through and have consumers stop and take notice,” says Posnikoff.

To that end, Virgin Plus has devoted a “significantly larger” amount of quarterly spend to the rebranding campaign, compared to previous quarters. TV is a big part of the buy and reach, with placement during Olympics broadcasts. There are also digital takeovers and OOH.

When it comes to the target, it’s primarily going after 25-35-year old value-seekers who want more from telco carriers, but Posnikoff adds that the hope is that will springboard into winning “the entire household in the value segment” is one of its priorities.. During the pandemic, people are looking to get more “bang for their buck,” and the “Plus” side of Virgin’s offering fits into that scheme.

The launch campaign was done in partnership with Leo Burnett, one of the telco’s main agency partners. Media Experts is its agency for the buy side, while FleishmanHillard Highroad has been tasked for public relations.