Virgin's Big Star has been won
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Virgin’s Big Star has been won

The Virgin Radio Big Star competition has given away the full amount of money contained inside it – over One Hundred Thousand Pounds.

It was won by Phil Hertel from Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire on Russ Williams’ show yesterday.

The Virgin Radio Big Star cash was hung above Regent Street in London’s West End and Phil Hertel from Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire has scooped £108,125.15p in hard cash.

The station campaign, entitled Big Star, was launched on the Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show and has been running across all Virgin Radio shows throughout the schedule. For the past week Christian O’Connell and Virgin Radio drivetime DJ Martin Collins have been giving daily ‘higher and lower’ clues on air to help listeners guess the amount. The last clue told listeners that the amount was between £108,000.00 and £109,000.00 and ending in 15pence!

Phil used the on-air clues logically and started playing around with the numbers that make up Virgin Radio’s FM and AM frequencies — 105.8 and 1215 to guess the right amount. He then he listened to the higher or lower clues from the DJs and eventually made his guess, live on Virgin Radio yesterday.

The promotion has been a massive success for the station with over 100,000 entries and more than doubling page impressions and setting two new records for the highest amount of traffic to the station’s website.

“We really wanted to capture our listeners imaginations with this campaign and get people talking and boy did we manage that! Our DJs have been badgered everywhere they go by listeners asking them for the right amount. On the day the Big Star launched, we were besieged with listeners trying to have a guess — the phone lines were jammed all day and the website crashed three times within the first hour!” said Paul Jackson, Virgin Radio’s programme Director. “The Big Star has been our most exciting promotion yet and we’ll definitely be revisiting the idea again next year, we’ve been blown away by the response we’ve had!”

Speaking about the moment he found out he had won the cash, Phil told Virgin Radio: “It was total, unbridled elation. It’s the sort of feeling you get, if you’re a bloke, and you’ve cracked a shot into the top right-hand corner of the net from 35 yards; the feeling you get when you see the net bulge and hear the crowd roar. It’s been a long time since I’ve played football but I ran round the office and whooped and roared — and would have slid into the corner flag if we’d had one!”

Virgin Radio launched the unprecedented autumn station promotion with a series of TV adverts, outside advertising and an online viral marketing campaign in this radio first.

The Virgin Radio Big Star went up on Monday 25 September — 20ft x 20ft and made of perspex, and packed full of Big Star with cash. Listeners were invited to register online and were then brought to air by DJs to guess the exact amount of cash contained in the star.

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0 0 423 11 October, 2006 Industry News 2:31 pm 200610 Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

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