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Virgin Mobile encourages youth to 'Think Hatke'

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Virgin Mobile encourages youth to 'Think Hatke'

Take a good look at your son and daughter. Today's Indian youth are not just 'cool', but also smart and quite capable of handling any difficult situation.

Trust Sir Richard Branson to do things 'zara hatke'. After the flamboyant launch of his Virgin Mobile service in India earlier this month, the company has now launched its ad campaign, which primarily targets the urban Indian youth in the 15-24 age group.

Bates David Enterprise, the creative agency for the campaign, has developed two TVCs that are in sync with Virgin Mobile's international communication. Exhorting the youth to 'Think Hatke' and challenge social sanctions, both films use humour, wit and quick thinking to make sure the youth protagonist stays on top of any situation. The two films have been conceived and written by Executive Creative Director Rajeev Raja and Creative Director Rohit Malkani. The films have been directed by Rajesh Krishnan of Soda Films.

The first film highlights the 'reverse psychology' technique that a young girl uses on her parents to get their okay for a trip to Goa with her boyfriend. The girl declares to her parents that she is not interested in boys, subtly hinting at her 'sexual preference'. Even as her stunned parents blame each other for their 'predicament', the girl's mobile phone rings and she curtly tells the caller, "Tenzing, I can't come to Goa with you. I'll call you later."

The girl explains to her parents that it is a boy in her MBA class who want to go to Goa with her. The father sees this as an opportunity to regain his daughter's lost interest in boys and pushes her to go to Goa with 'Tenzing'. The mother is still skeptical, but the father pushes her saying 'Ladka hain, accha hi hoga'.

A voiceover is heard as we see a victorious smile spread across the girl's face as she calls up her boyfriend to tell him that "Goa is on" – 'Discover a smart new way to get around life'.

The second film, too, shows how a youngster's quick thinking and forward planning helps him slip out of a tricky situation. A young guy on his bike is stopped by a traffic cop, albeit unjustly, for jumping a signal. When the cop asks him to pay the fine, the boy sheepishly shows him his empty wallet. The cop makes him call his father and we see a close-up shot of the phone dialing his 'Papa'. When the cop tells the father that he has to pay a fine for his son, the father flatly refuses. To the cop's shock and surprise, the irate father fires him and tells him to throw his son in jail. In a complete volte-face, the cop now pleads for the boy but to no avail. The boy looks hopefully at the cop as he ends the call and the cop's heart melts. He ruffles the boy's hair and sends him on his way. We then see the boy sitting with his friend as he quips, "Thank you, Papa". The film ends with the two friends guffawing with the voice over, 'Discover a smart new way to get around life'.

The brief given to the agency was to launch Virgin Mobiles in such a way as to be seen as the champion of Indian youth.

Speaking on the insight, Rajeev Raja, Executive Creative Director, Bates David Enterprise, said, "We did a comprehensive research on the Indian youth, which told us that unlike their counterparts in the West, who are prone to rebellion and protest, Indian youth was clever in getting things done in their favour. Keeping this fact about the Indian youth in mind, we came up with the idea of 'thinking hatke'.

On the media coverage front, besides the commercials, the campaign is also seen in press, radio and outdoor.

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