Virgin Economics

Celebs and Media, political

surIn a somewhat ironic twist, Virgin Mobile has set up a “lifestyle blog” called Before you yell “Corporate shill”, I think it bears a good look. I know it’s a bit of a conundrum: “Here’s how you can save money during these desperate times, but buy our phones!” Hey, don’t we get out of a recession by spending a bit of dosh? Whatever your thoughts on fixing the crap we’re in, the site does offer some trendy and hip ways on saving cash-

(“To buy their phones!”)

Hush you. reads like a slightly bitter Now Magazine in parts (see the review of Karl Largerfeld’s $1500 look-alike bear, or advocating sneaking snacks into the movies – not really okay yes but no), but there are nuggets of good advice within the folds. One article makes note of Freecycle, a Craigslist-style community where you post stuff you don’t need anymore for free. I’ve used that site a couple times and you could actually hear my karma levels rise.

Virgin has always been a bit of a conundrum in my mind. An extremely progressive company targeting a younger demographic through pop culture and social awareness, but a company geared toward profit, none the less. It’s founder, Sir Richard Branson has always been young thinking and young at heart which permeates Virgin’s marketing: Virgin Airways was one of the first airlines to offer in-flight internet access, and I dream of taking a trip on the geek-gasm named Virgin Galactic. ScrewYouRecession’s edgy play for the young dollar through assistance and information is just toeing the company line. Despite all the tips, funny articles and celebrity chatter, does it actually help youth deal with this depressing recession, hammered into our brains every time we’re exposed to any kind of media outlet? Or does it just add signal noise?

As I type this, the news just reported that the TSX rose today 61 points. So while the site’s helpful tips are welcome, lets hope they’ll not be needed for long.

2 thoughts on “Virgin Economics

  1. Phronk

    I was a little hesitant about this too, as my more biting corporate shilling demonstrates. But I hadn’t heard of Freecycle before, and that’s such a great idea. It always sucks to throw away perfectly good stuff, and if there are people who need it then it’s win-win. Thanks for highlighting it.

  2. postbear

    i’m reluctant to endorse any corporation, but virgin impressed me back when i started shopping for cellphones. their people took the time to explain their plans in detail, were friendly without being cloying, and actually did what i asked of them when i requested that they call me back at specific times. though i wqound up a fido customer, i can’t say anything bad at all about virgin’s treatment of customers.

    oh, i’ve been freecycling for a few years now – given away a ton of crap and picked up a couple of items. there are unreliable people there, but fewer than at the free-to-reuse group. that group gets a freaky flameout about once per month, obvious scamming/begging and has even had a couple of creepy personal ads. somewhat surprisingly, the craigslist free section has worked very well for me, more reliably than the sales section ever has, by far.

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