Virgin Mobile is sponsoring the latest Bebo online drama, in a partnership that will also see the Virgin Media-owned telecoms brand push its sponsorship of the V Festival.
The Secret World of Sam King launches today (August 6). It follows the same model as KateModern and Sofia’s Diary with brands funding the series in return for plot and product integration. It revolves around a junior employee at Universal Music.
Virgin Mobile will take the show on location to the V Festival, which it has sponsored since 1999. James Kydd, Virgin Media managing director of marketing says the deal is a “great tie-in” for Virgin Mobile, and will create “real impact” with Bebo users.
The tie-in also replicates Virgin Media’s championing of Virgin Mobile as its youth brand, using the mobile division to reach younger consumers through events such as V Festival and TV reality show Big Brother.
Virgin Mobile has sponsored the Channel 4 reality show for this series and last. It took over from Carphone Warehouse, which had been the main Big Brother sponsor since 2003 paying around £3m a year, but withdrew in the wake of the Shilpa Shetty racism row of last year.
The Bebo drama has been created in conjunction with Universal Music, whose roster of acts, such as Razorlight and The Fratellis, will feature in the series. Bebo was founded in 2005 as an online community, targeted to the under 30s, and has a membership of more than 45 million worldwide.