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Virgin Mobile Jason Donovan

Award: Yellow Pencil

Yellow Pencil / Viral / Interactive Viral Advertising / 2006

Do not call 0403-JASOND - A simple but unusual assertion. Tell people not to call and they most certainly will. On the surface, the premise was simple: Jason Donovan - a fallen, mostly forgotten soap star cum singer of yesteryear (and Virgin Mobile customer) was selling his car. He placed an ad on eBay and other auction sites and put a sign in the window of his car. Unfortunately a paparazzi snapped Jason getting into this car with the sign in the window and the picture found its way to the Internet. The photo immediately caught the attention of forums and spread like wildfire by email. Discussion continued fuelled by forums, more email and through the fervent insistence of one crazed blogger and the fervent opposition of an obsessed fan. The truth of this campaign, however, is far more complicated. Every detail was orchestrated using a unique strategy that was designed to both maximize reach and build in authenticity. Rather than 'viralising' one piece, the deployment saw multiple simultaneous pieces of work lending each other authenticity and creating a whole which was significantly stronger than its' parts.

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