The last Virgin campaign “Virgin Mobile” raises skepticism on the adequacy between the product of a company and its messaging. The product, nothing but Virgin cellphones, its cause marketing messaging “Someone out there needs clothes more than you.”
In its original campaign “Strip2Clothe”, Virgin challenged anyone to undress front of a video camera and to post the video. Each video donated one cloth to a nonprofit organization. It worked well until morality caught up with the free-spirited. Catholic oriented charities groups saw outrage in what was originally fun. Since, charity groups disengaged their image from Virgin branding.
What does such behavior display? The limits of cause marketing? Of cause marketing partnership? Or simply societies’ values? It undeniably redefines priorities, what is more important to the eyes of charity organizations, a reputation that was not tarnished or the possible media and economic repercussions of such event? I guess their image only prevails! What about the ones at the bottom of the ladder, then?
As Virgin achieved a net positive, as videos flooded the site, as 15,000 clothes were donated within a week, what would be an unsuccessful campaign? And in a competitive market isnt’ it companies’ key role to be noticeable?
Those words being said, Virgin did not resist the censorship epidemy, it had to comply and renamed its campaign “Blank2Clothe”, the end is the same but the means changed.
I’m surprised that Branson who usually shakes up the earth and makes waves wherever he goes, did not stick to his personnality, that is to say audacious.