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SXSW Interactive 2013

The Underdog Marketer - Virgin Mobile

Verizon Wireless and AT&T are two of the biggest spenders in the ad business. Yet last month, brand challenger Virgin Mobile announced the iPhone at a uniquely low price, casting a stone at the Goliaths and provoking a stir of conversation. But Virgin Mobile doesn’t even rank in the top 100 of advertisers – so how do they compete?

Virgin Mobile Head of Brand Marketing, Ron Faris, will discuss “newsroom marketing”, an array of next-generation tactics employed by the no-contract mobile carrier, from the innovative social publishing partnership with Buzzfeed, to combating a category-wide stigma across social communities, and how a combination of drive and creativity can help an underdog make up for a drastically smaller budget.

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  1. Where did the concept of newsroom marketing come from and why did Virgin Mobile decide to apply it to their brand?
  2. How important is the role that social media plays in newsroom marketing?
  3. What other type of brands could potentially benefit from a newsroom marketing scenario?
  4. How can marketers with limited ad budgets compete against the major brands in their industry?
  5. What are the different ways that Virgin Mobile has implemented newsroom marketing strategies into its ad campaigns and consumer engagement programs?


  • Ron Faris , Head of Brand Marketing for Virgin Mobile USA , Virgin Mobile


Andrew Stein , publicist , Sunshine Sachs

Meta Information:

  • Tags: marketing, mobile, engagement
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Content and Distribution
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate
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