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amichi launch plus possible links to facebook

  1. afd
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    Just came acroos this article:

    Amichi eyeing Virgin ground
    Anila Azhar

    Virgin Mobile is to face a tough challenge to its customer heartland with the launch of a rival brand targeting Gen Y consumers.

    Amichi, which uses air time leased from Vodafone, will launch the week after next.

    It will target the 18 to 29-year-old Generation Y demographic, putting it head-to-head with Virgin, which uses the network of parent company Optus.

    The new brand comes from ASX-listed mobile phone network operator ComTel, which already runs a series of mobile offerings using Vodafone’s airwaves. Its services include Just Mobile, which targets cost-conscious consumers, and Reward Mobile, a service that targets 35-year-old and up contract customers.

    Amichi will offer only a pre-paid service. Craig Johnson, ComTel’s, head of sales and marketing, claimed that Virgin had lost its edge over the Gen Y market since Optus took control. “Previously Virgin had a fairly good offer with its five cents text offer,” he said.

    “We found in our research that it delivered positive results and was quite successful. But since its migration to Optus, people in this segment became quite cynical about it, and didn’t believe they were the Virgin they once were.

    “But, we didn’t set Amichi up to compete with Virgin, it just so happens they are a competitor in terms of what they are offering.”

    Marketing activity for the launch of the new brand will involve significant below-line activity and sponsorships developed by Bondi-based agency C3 Marketing. A website is also due to go live next week.

    The brand is based on the Italian word for friend, amici, and the messaging will focus on a “let’s be friends” message.

    Sydney events company CEM will develop the launch on university campuses. “We will launch it at the University of Sydney on February 27 and on February 28 at the University of Melbourne during orientation week,” Johnson said.

    ComTel will also target the database built up by its media network Empowered Communications. Using reward programs, Empowered has a database of 400,000 people who have agreed to receive advertising offers and respond to research.

    And Johnson claimed: “We are also in discussions with the likes of MySpace and Facebook in terms of the possibility of building social network communities.”

    As part of the youth-targeting strategy, in a deal brokered by Waterfront Entertainment, Amichi has signed up as a key sponsor of R&B singer Rihanna’s tour scheduled for August. TVCs, radio and print executions will support the sponsorship.

    A Virgin spokeswoman denied the brand had lost its way with Gen Y.

    “We have never specifically targeted Gen Y. Instead Virgin Mobile targets those young and young at heart. To put all our eggs in one basket would be a very risky thing to do and we much prefer being about attitude, not age,” she said.

    14 February 2008

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