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Virgin thinks you rule. What do you think of them?

As we said yesterday, we’re completely in favor of marketing and advertising that doesn’t involve us sitting through a 30-second commercial (actually, we watched Talladega Nights last night, and were massively peeved when they ran that cheap-o Applebee’s commercial in the middle of it). So we praised Virgin Mobile for its Facebook marketing plan.

Then we get an e-mail last night about, yes, another Virgin advertising campaign. In an attempt to expand their service in New York City, they’ve begun to place enormous ad posters and billboards all around the city. They feature the slogan “You Rule,” followed by, well, something that rules. For instance, they’ve used “Car-Service Drivers, You Rule.”

They’ve even come up with location-specific ads for various neighborhoods around New York City: Chelsea, Bed-Stuy, and Hell’s Kitchen among others. They even rolled out ads for Staten Island. Those, though, are causing a ruckus. Apparently, they offend some people. Judge for yourself:

Staten Island, you rule. The name says it all. You are truly an island, physically and mentally. Thank you for your front yards, detached garages and SUVs. Thank you for the ferry — the best cheap date ever. Thank you for being our down-to-earth, suburban, predominantly Italian-American cousins. To show our gratitude, we’ve got something for you. No, not baked ziti — cell phone plans without annual contracts, so you’re not locked in. And with no annual contract, you’re free to move between our other plans. Like you would on a bridge or ferry.

It seems harmless at first. However, these ads were written by an ad agency in North Carolina. Is it possible that they slipped in some subtle insults? Absolutely. Did they? Sorry, we’re not the ones to judge the intentions of others. But we understand why some people are pissed off.

[Gothamist] [Adweek] [Staten Island Advance]