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Canada's mood goes on yellow alert as people say "screw you recession!"

screwyourecession.ca launched to help Canadians take control and be recession savvy

TORONTO (ONTARIO) March 16, 2009

  • 72% of young Canadians are anxious about their future and shopping differently


After hearing the thoughts, worries and feelings of thousands of young Canadians, Virgin Mobile Canada has created the “Mood Meter.” Ranging from Red (“Everything Sucks Huge”) to Green (“The Recession Ain’t Getting Me Down”), this five-stage colour-coded system reads the pulse of Canada’s youth and reveals exactly what they’re thinking. As of right now, according to the latest research, young Canadians are officially on yellow alert!


Virgin Mobile’s Mood Meter is one of the first consumer research polls in Canada that looks exclusively at how the recession is impacting young people’s lives, how they’re feeling about the state of the economy and what the “R-rated word” Recession means to them. It’s also a barometer of their thoughts and shopping habits, as well as their feelings on how brands are behaving in the current credit crunch.


The poll’s first round of results shows that the majority of 17-35 year olds in Canada are anxious about their future. Of the young Canadians surveyed, 72% are worried about their future and 88% have already changed their shopping habits to save money.


The Mood Meter reveals that big corporations should watch out, as 52% of youth are open to trying value brands. Increasing negativity towards the role of government and corporations was also revealed: 57% of youth don’t believe a change in government would change anything; 82% believe the current economic problems were caused by “greed”; and 76% doubt the ethics of many major corporations.


Virgin Mobile’s Mood Meter


Current Mood: Yellow “Sorta’ Freaking Out Right Now”


• Biting nails - 72% are anxious about their future
• Brand disloyalty - 41% have given up a brand they love
• Show me the value! - 52% are open to trying value brands
• Chic-onomics - 88% have changed their shopping habits
• Recessionistas - 42% are making "noticeable sacrifices"
• Unemployment - 42% fear being unemployed
• Politics - 57% say they don’t believe a change in government would change anything
• The Simple Life -  75% want a simpler life


(Here’s some serious stuff: Virgin Mobile asked 1,500 Canadians during Q1 of 2009, aged 17-35, to rate their confidence, fears, openness to change and habits during the current recession.)



This week Virgin Mobile launched a recession-busting website – screwyourecession.ca – to help people take control of their costs and read a positive, cheeky twist on how to beat the recession. The site is packed with tips, news and money saving ideas for every recessionsista.


The “Screw You Recession!” campaign kicked off with a huge billboard installation at Yonge and Dundas Square in downtown Toronto, Canada’s busiest urban intersection, and will be matched by an outdoor and online marketing campaign, focusing on easy tips from real people on how to save cash, to make sure Canadians don’t waste a single loonie during this “economic pause” and learn how to be chic-onomic!

“Young people have told us that they’re feeling left out and are fed up with hearing about big corporate bail-outs. They’re looking for someone who’s got their back. We think it’s time everyone got some help on how they can take back control - and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” said Nathan Rosenberg, chief marketing officer, Virgin Mobile Canada.  “They’re feeling the pinch too and they want to be represented.  They want a place to go where they can open up and speak honestly about the recession, talk about how they’re feeling and swap tips and tricks on how they can save cash and relieve some of the recession stress.”


Rosenberg added, “Lots of people are feeling misled and, even worse, that the promise of a bright future is now in doubt. We’re not just looking to solve money stresses, but to bring back a feeling of positivity and hope. If big brands don’t start listening, people will easily vote with their wallets and go somewhere else – it’s time to stop whining about bonuses and start worrying about benefits to customers!”


Rosenberg went on to say, “Screwyourecession.ca was created by and is the work of young people working right here. They know exactly how people are feeling and how to help. It’s a place to vent, get real info on how to save money and hopefully have a bit of a laugh when people really need it.”


From “Cheap First Dates” to “Weirdest Ways to Make Money During a Recession,” the site takes a positive look at how we can band together to make it through tough times. Packed with tips, special offers and money saving deals, people can connect with screwyourecession.ca through Virgin Mobile on Twitter – twitter.com/virginmobilecan. 


In the coming weeks, screwyourecession.ca will invite guest bloggers and other contributors, post interviews with financially-savvy types like Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson and launch budget calculators, e-coupons and a Facebook page.  


Recession-Proof Mobile


When it comes to helping Canadians show the recession who’s boss, Virgin Mobile is putting its money where its mouth is. With plans starting at just $10/month and unlimited email also from $10/month, including no System Access Fees and fair cancellation charges, Virgin Mobile has recession-proof plans that don’t rip you off and don’t leave you with a big old whole in your wallet.


About Virgin Mobile


The Virgin Mobile group of companies has attracted more than 12 million customers worldwide. As the No.1 mobile youth network, Virgin Mobile Canada's mission is to be Canada’s most loved mobile company. Its simpler, better deals offer customers control, flexibility and choice to design mobile packages that truly works for them. J.D. Power and Associates ranked Virgin Mobile highest in customer satisfaction with prepaid wireless service for four years in a row  and 91% of customers would recommend Virgin Mobile to a friend.


Virgin Mobile phones are available at more than 4,000 locations with top-up cards available at more than 10,000 locations nationally. Virgin Mobile products can also be purchased online at http://www.virginmobile.ca or by calling 1-888-999-2321.


For more information, please contact:


Erica Faltous, Hill & Knowlton Canada


Chris Baines, Virgin Mobile Canada
1-416-607-8412 / 1-416-556-3000

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