Virgin Mobile introduces Doug Pitt, Brad’s bro

doug pitt

The other Pitt

Virgin Mobile has signed up Brad Pitt’s brother Doug as its celebrity endorsement on the grounds that he deserves “a fair go”.

The campaign, masterminded by PR agency One Green Bean and Euro RSCG is the next stage of Virgin Mobile’s “A Fair Go For All” positioning launched last year.

The character of Robin Da Hood, who was created by Mojo and fronted the Fair Go campaign when it launched last year has been dropped.

The campaign will be centred around the Fair Go Bro website.  The site will launch with an introductory Doug video asking Aussies to get to know the less famous Pitt and showing them his more ordinary lifestyle.

Virgin Mobile’s marketing director David Scribner said: “With consumer engagement paramount to success, we wanted push the boundaries and develop a campaign that had social and mobile at the heart of it. The first phase of the campaign centres around the website enabling consumers to engage and rally behind the cause before we introduce the TVCs, outdoor and print.”

Media at launch will include online display, pre-roll video,Facebook advertising, Nova radio and commuter press. TV, print, cinema and outdoor will follow later.

Print ad:

doug pitt virgin mobile

Agency credits:

  • Concept: Euro RSCG & One Green Bean
  • ATL: Euro RSCG
  • PR: One Green Bean
  • Social Media: One Green Bean
  • Digital Design & Development: Future Büro
  • Media: Starcom
  • Production Company: Revolver


  1. MT
    2 Jul 12
    10:04 am

  2. Sounds like a progressive and original idea.. wonder what Frank Stallone is up to now .. maybe Hamish and Andy have PR careers post TV?

  3. Renee
    2 Jul 12
    10:23 am

  4. One Green Bean are doing some great stuff (hence the Cannes lion I suppose!).

    Cool campaign, I love how Branson’s brand cheekiness comes through most of their campaigns, it’s very refreshing to see a brand with a little confidence.

  5. Rob
    2 Jul 12
    10:41 am

  6. Awesome idea

  7. Experiencegirl
    2 Jul 12
    10:58 am

  8. Whoever runs OGB is a genius. This is the funniest campaign. Love it.

  9. confused
    2 Jul 12
    11:06 am

  10. Interesting idea; In showing his ‘everyday’ life, I can’t tell if they’re trying to make a joke out of him and highlight why he needs endorsing, or instead just trying to resonate with parents/families.
    I’m not sure how many people would look at his lifestyle/surroundings and feel as though he didn’t have a ‘fair go’ already (despite obviously lacking in comparison to Brad Pitt).
    It kind of just makes me think Brad Pitts a bit of an arse for not sending a bit of coin his brothers way!

  11. Heather
    2 Jul 12
    11:11 am

  12. Love it!

  13. Paul
    2 Jul 12
    11:16 am

  14. Well done Euro, this is the first genuinely good work I think I’ve seen come out of the place.

  15. Jack B. Nimble
    2 Jul 12
    11:37 am

  16. Brilliant idea, absolutely brilliant! I hope this is a series and we see more ‘overlooked siblings of the famous’!

  17. Arm
    2 Jul 12
    11:39 am

  18. I wondered where my brother Doug had gotten to.

  19. craig
    2 Jul 12
    12:05 pm

  20. Awesome…loved it.

    I got the feeling Doug new the deal here, and was along for the ride. Thought it was very funny, might even post it on my facebook…. That got you excited didn’t it.

  21. Jury's out
    2 Jul 12
    12:06 pm

  22. He looks happy, he’s doing alright for himself, he may not have the palatial lifestyle of Brad but he’s not exactly wandering the streets begging for change. It’s a funny look at the ‘other Pitt’ but i’m not sure where the ‘fair go’ mantra comes into it?

  23. Matt
    2 Jul 12
    12:31 pm

  24. Very niiiiiiiiiice

  25. jamie
    2 Jul 12
    12:45 pm

  26. gold! great work

  27. Claire
    2 Jul 12
    1:29 pm

  28. How is Doug’s life unfair and how does the “fair go” line actually apply to virgin’s product? The connection seems unexplained at best and absent at worst, in my opinion. The whole thing is mildly amusing but I will be interested to see where Facebook likes for Doug take Virgin mobile…

  29. cute
    2 Jul 12
    1:33 pm

  30. liked it

  31. Lloyd
    2 Jul 12
    1:48 pm

  32. This is very funny. Nice one.

  33. Ham
    2 Jul 12
    2:11 pm

  34. I really like this. And it’s a job well done for Euro and OGB…

    Mojo is just sliding down that scale isn’t it? Seriously poor creative for the past few years.

  35. Scribbo!
    2 Jul 12
    2:14 pm

  36. Nice one Mr Scirbner – your best work since Findus Rock ‘ n Rolls !

  37. Tony
    2 Jul 12
    2:18 pm

  38. Progressive? Original? Awesome? Funniest? Good work? Brilliant?

    So lets just say I am so overcome with a compulsion to visit the website
    and ‘like’ him (348 people have done this so far?) …then now what? And only those on Facebook can participate, but maybe that’s saying something else….

    ….those who don’t update and check their Facebook status continually
    and find such purile engagement with a brand aren’t worth engaging?

    It only encourages creatives to continue creating such shallow self indulgent campaigns and does bugger all to sell phones.

    That’s what we are paid to do isn’t it? Sell stuff?
    The last time I looked, clients ‘liked’ that!

  39. Mark Simkins
    2 Jul 12
    2:23 pm

  40. You can just see the campaign rolling out. Nice work.

  41. another adult
    2 Jul 12
    2:25 pm

  42. very clever – and he comes across really well.
    Far less sanctimonious than his brother.
    good work

  43. Francis
    2 Jul 12
    2:27 pm

  44. This is pretty funny. The concept says it all, and the tie-in to the fair go actually works.

    Virgin are just great at this kind of stuff, hats off.

  45. I liked him
    2 Jul 12
    2:49 pm

  46. He’s hot. And you can see it unfolding, this is going to be great!

    Nice job Virgin!

  47. Surry Hills
    2 Jul 12
    3:13 pm

  48. Love this!!

  49. Richard Brand
    2 Jul 12
    3:18 pm

  50. I’m suspicious…

    …a few too many one-line “loves” and “awesome” comments?

    Or perhaps I’m just cynical and real “readers” genuinely feel that these self indulgent campaigns change consumer opinions? We are continually seeing creative ideas (invariably humor) that are force fit into a brand…and more amazingly bought by the client?

    2 minutes worth of a labored irrelevant joke.

    Clients need to ask themselves what genuine rate of return this sort of work brings? I suspect a few new Facebook friends won’t change attitudes and I’m lost as to why this idea is relevant to Virgin?

    The industry needs to get a grip and get back to selling.

  51. Jacob Hodgman
    2 Jul 12
    3:37 pm

  52. Went to a Virgin Mobile store recently (Marion, SA). They were rude, unaware of their own product range, and condescending. Where does this ‘fair go’ thing apply? To me, they acted like a typical telco. I went elsewhere. And apparently Branson doesn’t own them anymore.

  53. Let's all do Coles retail spots instead
    2 Jul 12
    3:54 pm

  54. The world would be a much better place if we all just sold shit the boring way.

    Humph hrumph hrmph hmph.

  55. Richard Brand
    2 Jul 12
    4:44 pm

  56. Dear Number 27.

    The skill is in selling stuff in a creative, relevant way that gets consumers to act.

    There isn’t any skill in producing creative that has no relevance to the brand and doesn’t impact sales. This is why CFO’s don’t get it.

    Those bored with clients who just want to sell, should figure out who pays the agency bills when the client goes broke and the marketing team are made redundant.

    This work simply doesn’t give you any relevant reason to engage with the brand. Agencies need to be more accountable for sales rather than Cannes complements.

  57. Matt
    2 Jul 12
    5:15 pm

  58. Tony, maybe Doug should have said – right in the middle of the video actually “Right now you can get a $99 plan with 300 bucks of credit, free voicemail, unlimited text messaging, with the best ever galaxy 2 android smart phone on the new superduper plan 4000 for 2 years – click here now!!!”.

    In the boring world you obviously live in, this is how advertising is meant to be done and makes sense. Thank god for a creative idea that leaves people amused and slightly curious… Not every brand is gagging to do a “down down, prices are down” ad or spray prices all over the place like JB Hi-Fi.

  59. Neil
    3 Jul 12
    3:48 am

  60. Some “to be expected” comments here. Fact is Brad is very close to his family and I wouldn’t be surprised him and his brother got a good chuckle over this vid.

  61. Brian
    3 Jul 12
    11:04 am

  62. I don’t see how this is relevant to Virgin at all. It feels like a pre launch idea for ‘A Fair Go For All’. But that brand positioning was launched over a year ago now. Why step backwards?

  63. Eric Blair
    3 Jul 12
    11:58 am

  64. Rowan Dean in his piece in the AFR talks about the demise of the Campaign Palace.

    In his tale of agency mismanagement he says…”they did some real work – not the scam ads and gimmicky PR stunts that so many of today’s agencies rely upon to boost their creative credentials…”

    Virgin Mobile is an example of irrelevant, gimmicky PR work (not advertising) that is putting the industry to shame. Leaving people “amused” isn’t the role of advertising.

  65. Matt
    3 Jul 12
    2:16 pm

  66. Right you are, Eric Blair. This campaign would have worked better as a load of DM flyers sprayed all over the country. In fact, we should start a governing body to ensure that no people are amused as the result of advertising campaign.

    Pfff… Who are you to say what the role of advertising in 2012 is and isn’t? If Virgin Mobile wants to put a giant dildo in the middle of a city and link it to their brand then good on them. For every creative campaign like this, there are a thousand projects where all humor and creativity have been stripped out to adhere to a conservative communications brief. Lighten up buddy…

  67. Jacob Hodgman
    3 Jul 12
    3:51 pm

  68. Are we meant to feel sorry for Doug? He has a nice house, nice car, looks reasonably well off… I have friends who go without food so that they can support their kids. I just can’t relate to a well-to-do American with a famous family member when many Aussies are doing it tough. This doesn’t have any ‘fair go’ element for me. Nice enough guy, but my heart isn’t weeping for Doug. This is almost rubbing our faces in it. With a different tag line this could work well, but there’s no payoff in it for me. Especially after having dealt with Virgin…

  69. Eric Blair
    3 Jul 12
    3:51 pm

  70. Matt, accepting that relevant creativity is the aim of advertising, how is this campaign really supposed to get new consumers? Funny isn’t always better. And humor doesn’t always equal creativity (beyond Surry Hills).

    Be interesting to hear how you think it will actually work as you clearly don’t like the more obvious sell?

    I don’t think the giant phallic symbol (despite the obvious appeal) is the answer by the way.

  71. Jacob Hodgman
    3 Jul 12
    4:04 pm

  72. I’m with you Eric. This does nothing for mobile phone sales, and the whole ‘fair go’ thing has no real-world application. Maybe someone from Virgin can get on here and explain how they are ‘fairer’ than any other Telco. Just because it is an ‘interesting’ concept does not mean it translates well for the brand. It just seems out of touch to me.

  73. Matt
    3 Jul 12
    4:24 pm

  74. Eric Blair, how is it supposed to get new consumers? Are people talking about the brand or not? Of course humor does not alway equal creativity, but to discount it as a technique is plain ignorance.

    How do I know how it works mate? I just really like what they have done as a nice big idea to start it off. So did my friends online it seems.

    Who says a giant dildo can’t be used in advertising? What if a brand positioning was “satisfaction” or something… It’s up to the client to buy an idea they like or not.

  75. Eric Blair
    3 Jul 12
    4:58 pm

  76. I agree with Matt, I certainly think humor has a role whether targeting young or old, e.g. Berocca 50+ from The Campaign Palace (RIP), it just seems to have become the default position in the absence of any other relevant creative ideas.

    Industry professionals are also losing sight of the role of mass market media versus niche social media to affect sales and make great ads. A great TV ad will out-pace any other media in terms of awareness and sales impact in a mass market category like mobile. Even better if social media supports the TV – all 400 Facebook fans can even like each other…

    John Hegarty said at Cannes that “the ads simply aren’t good enough…”. He’s right. The industry is pitching and accepting poor creative.

    Ultimately the client makes the call. My criticism is of those clients who buy irrelevant ideas like this that don’t affect sales via niche media.

  77. A fair sledge for all
    3 Jul 12
    11:19 pm

  78. I like the humour of the concept. Rather than pick a homeless man off the street, they’ve chosen the person who probably feels the hardest done by. Brad Pitts brother. The PR value of this campaign is enormous. And the message is clear to me. I think this is a winner, but lets wait until the figures come out before we start slagging it as irrelevant.

    All the overseas publications are loving it and the public seem to really like the idea, so regardless of what other individuals on this thread think would be a better campaign (Berocca 50+?), it’s working.

  79. Pete
    4 Jul 12
    11:14 am

  80. How’s about we let this thing run its course before we say it won’t sell phone contracts?

  81. Eric Blair
    4 Jul 12
    12:02 pm

  82. A point on coverage. Particularly when it is mostly in trade titles and overseas (?).

    Is PR value measured by column inches or saliency of the product proposition and why Virgin is better? I doubt many get the latter from this campaign. I’ve seen some amateur efforts to justify campaign cost through rate-card equivalent values of column inch coverage. Clients are still buying (at high cost) this naive 1980’s view of PR…

    Berocca 50+ isn’t necessarily a “better” campaign, but it does illustrate the use of an amusing creative idea relevant to the product and target from a great agency.

    As many have said in the thread, this creative just isn’t relevant. If it had some product relevance it would be a lot more effective and why wouldn’t a client strive for that?

  83. *slaps forehead*
    4 Jul 12
    12:27 pm

  84. They give everyone a fair go. Including Doug Pitt.

  85. bob is a rabbit
    5 Jul 12
    9:40 am

  86. Slapping my head too, #42. It’s not a retail ad. It’s not designed to directly shift mobile contracts. It’s about re-inforcing Virgin’s challenger positioning. If the campaign isn’t backed by a bunch or retail ads etc, then I’d agree with some of the comments above. Let’s see how the campaign rolls out.

  87. Eric Blair
    5 Jul 12
    11:22 am

  88. Scratching my head and still feeling it’s all a bit “Emperor’s new clothes” in the PR idea. A bit like people ticking the box in social media, without looking for a return on investment or understanding what it achieves.

    But as #43 says, a lot of sense in seeing what’s next in the campaign. CommBank hit hard with some very direct press ads and DM post their Tony Collette “can” poem.

    A lost opportunity in my view when brands don’t make ads that sell from the first airing. They’re spending money so why not look for an immediate return?

    Isn’t “a fair go” generic?

    To argue that this ad builds a generic positioning without selling is counter intuitive. Advertising that sells is great advertising, or maybe (with the greatest respect to Surry Hills) I’m more interested in the bottom line than Facebook likes.

  89. bob is a rabbit
    5 Jul 12
    11:47 am

  90. I agree, Eric. To a degree. Great advertising indeed sells. And yes, it makes sense to take advantage of every opportunity.

    In saying that, bigger brands with bigger budgets can afford a more holistic approach and to keep communications brutally single minded. That is, use once piece of comms to flog the positioning, another to ‘prove’ or ‘validate’ it. E.g. Tell everyone where about a ‘fair go’, hope they listen, then back it up by proving it with a worthy offer. We all know the simpler the message, the more likely it’s retained. That’s not to say a branding job, and a retail job can’t be pulled off in the one execution. It just means we don’t always ‘have’ to squeeze maximum sales from every piece of communication. Rather, we can also allocate funds to building value and equity in perhaps and arguably any company’s biggest asset – their brand.

  91. bob is a rabbit
    5 Jul 12
    11:50 am

  92. Oh, and while we’re building that equity, we might as well try and prove some sort of ROI by obtaining a few ‘likes’ here and there.

    By no means am I putting an argument forward for social media. IMO, it’s over-rated.

  93. I think it works...
    7 Jul 12
    5:57 am

  94. Haven’t seen the rest of the campaign, but a quick google shows every story, in some pretty hefty titles, talks about Virgin giving Doug Pitt a fair go. Lots also mention celebrity deals at celebrity brother prices (ha!) so I think we’ll see some down and dirty retail to come.

    With him set up as the endorser and now everyone’s looking at him, I think he’ll be flogging the crap out of the brand from here on in. They wouldn’t have spent whatever that was just to get a two minute teaser.