How Cheryl Hole helped Virgin Media keep hold of its customers

Virgin Media developed a ‘brand generosity’ campaign to retain customers that normally leave in the New Year.

The new year is a key switching period for telco customers, making Christmas a vital season for Virgin Media, and a last chance to bring some sparkle back to the relationship with those thinking of changing supplier.

Last Christmas, the brand aimed to give customers its heart in the shape of ‘Now That’s Christmas-ing’, a 25-day charm offensive, in drag.

The campaign, by RAPP UK, needed to reach 5.5 million customers with a small budget. Seeking to hit every consumer touchpoint, the activity saw drag queen Cheryl Hole become the face of Virgin Media, appearing wherever possible, including the delivery of an alternative Queen’s Speech.

In fact, the whole brand was put in drag for the 25 days leading up to Christmas Day.

A key Virgin Media objective is to be the brand most-recommended in its category by customers and staff. But price increases and keen competition had seen the brand’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) fall.

In response, the Christmas campaign was conceived as a brand generosity drive that would have a positive impact on everyone – even those who didn’t win prizes in a concerted giveaway effort.

A smart channel strategy meant that all Virgin Media customers saw the campaign, even those who had opted out of marketing communications.

It calculated that customers saw the campaign an average 128 times. With an ROI of 8:1, the campaign also increased the brand’s NPS by 5.1 in a single month.

Over half of the Virgin Media audience signed up for a daily email from Cheryl Hole, with click-through rates hitting 42%.

The positive results and “distinctive idea” contributed to Virgin Media winning the 2020 Marketing Week Masters award for media and telecoms.

Judges called it “a great big and inclusive campaign, which took a single distinctive idea and ran with it… the numbers are big and the real results delivered… amazing cut through at a busy time.”



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