Virgin Mobile U.S.A. has just extended their Sugar Mama program to the social sphere. The Fund My Phone application has been launched on Facebook, and allows Virgin Mobile USA subscribers to earn points through their friends.
Subscribers who have signed up for Sugar Mama earn free airtime by viewing ads on their mobile phones. Virgin has now found a way to extend this service through Facebook. The new campaign titled ‘Fund My Phone’ is in the form of a Facebook application through which users can earn free airtime by tapping into their friends networks.
Users need to add the application to their Facebook profile and then get their friends to watch ads on the app. For every four friends who each watch a minute of advertising on the app, the user will get a minute of free airtime.
Fund My Phone Facebook Application
This is an intelligent move that allows Virgin to virally reach a wide audience. Facebook users will watch ads for their friends only if the ads are relevant. Virgins brand partners will need to provide smart ads to ensure that this viral idea works, allowing them to spread their brand message further.
Advertisers that have already signed up for the programme include the likes of Microsoft Corp’s Xbox, Pepsi and Truth. Users of the ‘Fund My Phone’ application will be able to earn up to 75 minutes of free air time per month by viewing ads on their PC and answering some questions, taking part in online surveys or replying to text messages regarding the ads as well as by forwarding the Sugar Mama ads to friends online.
The Sugar Mama program, currently has about 700,000 subscribers who earn 26 million minutes of free talk time. To be eligible for the Fund My Phone scheme, users will have to add the application to their Facebook profile and verify their Virgin Mobile account in the USA. They can then share 5 different ads with friends.
Facebook users have already started forming cartels to earn more minutes by just watching each others’ Fund My Phone ads. Users are brazen enough to even post about exchanging ad views on the application homepage itself. If this is the only way the application generates ad views, advertisers might soon become aware of the fact that the system is being gamed and might stop advertising on Sugar Mama.