Virgin Media pursues long-term growth by ‘tapping into the nation’s emotions’

Virgin Media is looking to increase brand equity through the launch of its latest campaign, after it “switched gears” to focus on long-term brand building.

Virgin Media is aiming to “tap into the emotions of the nation” as it launches a campaign to showcase how fundamental broadband has become to everyday life. It marks the latest move in its brand building strategy as it looks to drive long-term growth.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Cilesta Van Doorn, Virgin Media’s brand and marketing director, says the company “switched gears” on its marketing, taking on a more emotional route due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is now firmly focused on “long-term brand building” to “really build equity”.

“We really felt for the first time we had found a perfect way of [communicating with consumers]. Because the role of broadband has fundamentally changed over the last year, people are so highly dependent on it, whether it is for work or school, but also for just really keeping in touch with your loved ones,” says Van Doorn.

“It is such a massive, important part of our life. And that is why we thought if you look at these timeless human connections, they’re all happening in new ways. Therefore, we felt this was the right time for us to really tell that love story, but in a new way.”

The ‘Faster Brings Us Closer’ campaign launches tonight (5 February) in a prime-time slot during Coronation Street on ITV. It shows a “timeless love story” between two students, Jade and Jake, who team up in an online role-playing videogame and slowly build a connection as they traverse a fantasy landscape.

It ends with their relationship taken to the next level through a video call, and the tagline ‘faster brings us closer’, alluding to the telecoms company’s ultrafast broadband network.

Never ever give up on your gut feeling; that to me is the most important thing you can do.

Cilesta Van Doorn, Virgin Media

The ad, created by agency adam&eveDDB, will be central to the campaign which will also rollout digital media, social and a four-month radio partnership with Bauer Media.

Van Doorn says success lies in KPIs such as long- and short-term revenue, and increase to average revenue per user, which she monitors on a daily/weekly basis, to ensure “we drive the right customers”.

Looking back at Virgin Media’s ‘Stay Connected’ campaign launched last year, Van Doorn highlights the uplift in NPS as a measure of success.

“We can see that our Stay Connected campaigns are driving positive NPS, not only for our base, but also the way that people are thinking about us to build that love.”

Its not all love for the Virgin Media brand though, with recent media reports highlighting signal outages across the country. Van Doorn says the company is still deploying its networks and will be launching new products to improve connection reliability this year.

Looking back on the last year, she says the company learned that keeping Virgin Media’s purpose at the heart of what it does “has really made our brands grow significantly”.

And while Covid-19 has brought with it much uncertainty it has enabled the brand to refocus and grow.

Going forward, she believes the brand must continue to takes risks and be confident.

“Never ever give up on your gut feeling; that to me is the most important thing you can do. And really dare to push the boundaries, really dare to stand out, really dare to do things differently. That is something I really genuinely want to push even harder than before,” she concludes.