Ad folk do all kinds of stuff when they are bored. Sort out their felt
tips, talk to ‘LoveTool’ in West Virginia on the Internet, that sort of
thing. But Rob Jebb and Aidan Hawkes, a young creative duo at Leagas
Shafron Davis, have devised a most novel way of livening up their day.
The pair have obtained the phone number of a public call box which they
can see ten floors below their offices on Tottenham Court Road. When
they get a bit of downtime (between pitches/creating ads etc) they call
it and watch what people walking past do.
If someone answers, which invariably they do, Jebb pretends he’s a DJ on
Virgin 1215, and offers pounds 10,000 to the passer-by if he or she does
an assortment of embarrassing things. Like lie down spreadeagled in the
middle of the pavement, or run across the road in ten seconds to the
Galaxy hi-fi shop and shout: ‘The phrase that pays is ‘I listen to
Virgin 1215. Give me my money!’’ to a bemused shop assistant.
‘Paper aeroplanes were a big favourite round here till we got this phone
number. Now we have ace fun seeing how far people will go to win money,’
Unbelievably, Leagas Shafron now reckons it is going to use the scam to
investigate the real merits of interactivity.
‘We are looking at how direct response like this works. It shows the
extraordinary power of interactive telephone sales,’ says an earnest
Yes, reader, he was serious.