Virgin Mobile Preaches Penny Power

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Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile "Serving The Greater Good"
A penny saved is a text message earned, thanks to a new monthly plan from Virgin Mobile that gives consumers 1,000 texts for a mere ten bucks. But in case that doesn't compel you to take action, Mother/New York is rallying all supporters of the penny to the website of STGG (Serving The Greater Good), an organization dedicated to restoring the power and prestige of Abe Lincoln's neglected copper coinage. "It's kind of a cool way to think about texting, and it seemed rich with creative possibilities," says copywriter Susan Corbo. "After thinking about the plight of pennies everywhere, we decided to create a renegade gang of guys dressed in black suits and Abe Lincoln masks, whose sole mission was to 'Give the Power Back to the Penny.'"

Penny-pinchers can join the cause by documenting the execution of some sort of penny-saving mission, then uploading their videos, pics or stories to the STGG site. Furthering the user-generated content cause, the site also features a live message feed—Virgin Mobile users can text a message to a special code and watch their words of wisdom broadcast on the site in real-time. Rounding out the site's offerings is the Penny Story page, which tracks the journey of one adventurous penny equipped with a microscopic tracking device as it travels across the country; information about the Penny Truck's tour of Virgin Megastores and other locations throughout the Northeast; and downloads including propaganda posters, stencils and the fashionable Abe mask from the TV spots.

"It's all an effort to get users participating in the brand, expressing themselves and feeling like they're a part of the Virgin community," says art director Dylan Bernd. "Texting is huge anyway, so why not give kids an affordable way to text, as well as a chance to experience some awesome branded content by wreaking havoc in the name of pennies?"
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