Virgin Mobile USA is planning to give their cell phone users free minutes in exchange for reading advertisements. Subscribers could get up to 75 minutes per month of free calls, as long as they read an equal amount of ads and then respond to them via SMS. Virgin believes that this will be a hit with their target audience of people under 30.
Implications - Being bombarded daily with a variety of ads has consumers feeling as though they are being ignored. By rewarding consumers for simply recognizing an ad, companies create a bond and users feel that they are being acknowledged. Companies should consider advertising that recognizes both the customer as well as their product to ensure good business.