Virgin Mobile – Building a youthful brand in a youthful country

Bates141, Mumbai

SUMMARY

India is one of the youngest countries in the world with a median age of 24 years. But if you are a youth (18–25yrs) in India today you have nowhere to go. Pubs and cafes are swelled up by those in their 40s, Levis is being worn more by your bosses than your peers and the live music shows are only affordable to your uncles. India is today a market of 'middle-aged teenagers'. Virgin Mobile realized that in the celebration of '40 is the new 20', the 20 something were being squeezed out. The fact that there wasn't a mainstream youth brand in the youngest country of the world was an opportunity. The Indian youth we realized had found a unique route between tradition and modernity. They were living their lives by their own rules but without upsetting the social applecart. They had discontinuous desires and knew that they needed non-linear means to achieve them. Virgin Mobile exhorted the Indian youth to bypass the firewall of sanctions. By being their partner in crime, it gave Indian youth a brand that they could call their own. And Indian television, its first brush with advertising whose storylines and protagonists were and not all whitewashed in goodness.