February 2023 – In 1981, Tommy Tutone recorded a catchy tune about a guy discovering a phone number (purportedly belong to ‘Jenny’) in a bathroom stall. The song is an iconic part of 80’s pop culture and it’s one of my ‘guilty pleasure’ tracks on my playlist.

There are some that say Tommy Tutone was a one-hit wonder with this tune, but the band actually had another hit song the year prior (which technically makes them a two-hit wonder).

Jenny’s # is the world’s most famous phone number. ☎️

It’s also one of the few phone numbers that I still have memorized. Like many others, when cell phones became a thing, I stopped committing telephone numbers to memory. 📱

Over the years, many individuals and businesses have tried to leverage Jenny’s popular phone number in marketing campaigns, only to see it backfire when the # of prank calls or the volume of calls made it impossible to manage.

The use of Jenny’s # is a classic example of nostalgia marketing (the strategy of tapping into positive, familiar concepts from previous decades to build trust for new ideas and reinvigorate modern campaigns). In other words, it’s a tactic of associating your brand with something that customers already love and have fond memories of.

I personally LOVE nostalgia marketing when done right.

Earlier this month, my team started playing around with CHATGPT to see if it would inspire some new messaging for the Evening in the Maritimes event we’re producing for our client, ABLE2, in May. The result of that experiment is documented here.

I couldn’t resist having Riley ask CHATGPT about Jenny.

We’ve been fooling around with all kinds of out of the box marketing ideas lately – some are best left on the cutting room floor, but others will be making their debut later this year. I can’t wait to share it all with you, but in the meantime, if your marketing needs a kick in the ass, for a good time call …*

Krista Benoit - iSPARK Consulting