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Virgin Mobile Jason Donovan

Award: Wood Pencil

Wood Pencil / Direct / Integrated Direct Response / 2006

In order to reinforce Virgin Mobile’s popularity amongst young adults and highlight their call and text rates, Virgin Mobile leaked a contrived photo with Jason Donovan's mobile number clearly visible onto the internet. Mr Donovan, a high-profile Virgin Mobile customer was subsequently inundated with calls/texts from fans and foes. In response, Virgin Mobile set in motion a pseudo damage limitation campaign urging people to refrain from calling or texting 0403JASOND and to PLEASE ENJOY VIRGIN MOBILE'S LOW RATES RESPONSIBLY. Over the 4 weeks prior to any broadcast advertising a conservative estimate of 1 million people saw the leaked photo and phone number online. Media coverage of the story in press and radio is estimated to have generated over 2 million exposures. Viral activity generated over 11,000 calls/texts in three weeks. Once the campaign broke over 60,000 people visited www.responsiblemobileuse.com.au and 680,000 calls/texts were made to 0403JASOND. This represents approximately 30% of the 16-24 year old target.

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