Virgin Mobile BITES Back with Cutting-Edge Entertainment Service
· Boredom-busting service with original content
· New phones to include a “Virgin key” for fast and direct access to BITES
· Launch of new customer magazine to complement BITES service
02.08.04: Virgin Mobile today announced the launch of its radical new entertainment service, Virgin Mobile BITES, offering “Bite-sized boredom busters” to customers. BITES is fun, cheeky and irreverent; like a cross between a celebrity gossip magazine and an infotainment service on the phone. It offers customers the chance to occupy bored moments with amusing little time wasters. This service has been created with content exclusively originated and published by Virgin Mobile, with its young fun loving customers in mind.
BITES is available for Virgin Mobile customers to experience on GPRS-enabled WAP phones and by text, absolutely free until January 31st 2005. The service is complemented by the launch of a monthly 28-page Virgin Mobile BITES customer entertainment magazine.
BITES is highly interactive, with quizzes, polls, opinions and reviews. It offers the chance for customers to publish their own material by text and picture messaging. It rewards participation with prizes and creates a tribal feeling through the sharing of this content.
· Celebrity: You thought Heat was hot…BITES is blistering! For the latest salacious gossip on the crazy world of celebs by the BITES gossip queen, need to know tittle-tattle and latest news on who’s hot and who’s doing what…with whom, as well as top celebrity screensavers and wallpapers. Plus the chance for Virgin Mobile customers to enter themselves and their mates as the best celebrity look-alike.
· Laughs: Get your mates to have a giggle trying one of these:
o How Bizarre! Man or woman? Celebrity or wannabe? Arse or elbow? Just take a guess. Play saucy `What is it?’ quiz and put your powers of observation to the test!
o Beauty or Beast – This flirty interactive quiz gives you the chance to see a great looking girl or guy in various stages of undress.
o Sin to Win - Got a confession to make? Then tell all! The best sin wins a top prize. And if you love secrets, you can have the juiciest ones sent straight to your phone.
o Pulling Pal – On the pull? Get chat-up lines, icebreakers and flirt tips so good, the opposite sex will be powerless to resist your charms. And if you need rescuing - get a crafty excuse sent straight to your phone and leave!
o Strange But True facts - Your encyclopaedia of trivia. Bring a little joy and happiness to everyone's day with a well-placed fascinating fact.
· Music: Three hot channels dedicated to Urban, Dance & Indie. Find out the latest tracks, news and gossip, club and gig listings and recommendations, reviews, voting and competitions, and the latest ringtones.
· News and Views: Includes tips on the next big thing in Most Wanted and weekly customer polls – Which trainers are funky? What’s the most popular colour this season?
· Sport: A humorous take on the latest sports news and results plus the latest java games. Get the best guide going to the new Premiership season. Who are the newbies to watch? Who has the wildest fans?
BITES uses colour, enhanced WAP (GPRS) to bring to life the new generation of colour-screen camera phones. All Virgin Mobile customers can get Bites – not just the ones with the latest phones, either by text or on their WAP phone. In addition, new Virgin Mobile phones feature a ‘Virgin key’ giving instant and easy access to BITES.
Nick White, head of value added services at Virgin Mobile, said: “BITES reflects the fact that mobile phones are now an indispensable part of people's lives - something to reach for when bored or in need of stimulation. Whether it's waiting for mates in a bar, sitting on the bus, BITES means that Virgin Mobile customers can be entertained when and wherever they like.
“Boredom sucks. Virgin Mobile BITES. And its’ got attitude. Our mantra is: Wherever there is boredom – entertain.”
The launch of BITES also marks the first time that Virgin Mobile has published a customer magazine for its 4.2million customers. The first edition of the 28-page magazine will be sent out to Virgin Mobile registered customers, and distributed free of charge in Virgin Mobile shops within Virgin Megastore and Megastore Xpress, at the V Festival, Barfly venues and in street demo activities. The magazine, published by Virgin Mobile, has been produced by Start Creative with exclusive content from Que Pasa Communications and is edited by Damien Morris, ex Conde Nast and former editor of music magazines, Seven and Trash.
BITES has been created exclusively for Virgin Mobile with several key partners: Que Pasa Communications, an agency that specialises in planning, creating and delivering multi-platform content in the youth/young adult market. Virgin Mobile’s brand agency Start Creative has named and designed the look and feel of the service and developed the BITES magazine. On the technical side, Infospace Mobile has provided the underlying technology and infrastructure. This also includes, downloadable content direct from the WAP platform, as well as device optimisation, ensuring all content is properly rendered so customers can access the best content for their handset model.
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For information or to taste BITES, please contact:
Virgin Mobile Press Office: 0845 600 6272 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanne Baker: 07941 233 300 or Joanne.Baker@virginmobile.com
Sarah Baron, Lisa Hulme or Alix Vonk
Tel: 0207 385 0009. Email: email@example.com
Photography and demonstration available on request
About Virgin Mobile:
Virgin Mobile Holdings (UK) plc, the UK's largest mobile virtual network operator, is majority owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and uses T-Mobile's network.
In the UK, Virgin Mobile phones are available direct on 0845 6000 600 or on the High Street at approximately 5,000 outlets including Virgin Mobile Specialist Stores, Virgin Megastores, Sainsbury, Tesco, Safeway, Asda, John Lewis, Littlewoods, Argos, The Link, Dixons, Carphone Warehouse, Curry's, Comet, Phones 4 U, TOMO, Woolworths, Toys R Us and Rymans.
Virgin Mobile employs approximately 1,400 staff at three sites, Trowbridge, London and Daventry, and has an outsourced customer service centre operated by approximately 200 staff in Middlesbrough. It has been voted one of the top 50 places to work in Britain for two years running in an annual Financial Times survey.
Virgin Mobile's customers are considered the most satisfied in the pre-pay sector according to a recent UK survey by market researchers JD Power and Associates.
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